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Thursday 30 May 2024

Low Carb/Keto On A Budget

We are all finding our weekly shopping bill is getting higher and higher. When it comes to living a low carb/keto lifestyle many people believe this type of diet has to be expensive. Yes, some low-carb foods are expensive, BUT not all. You don’t need expensive ingredients. You can eat totally delicious and healthy low-carb meals that are super cheap.

There are many things you can do straight away to save money. Below you can read tips on planning and shopping, and I hope you find them helpful.

1. Plan
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 many of us 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 there 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/grated cheese, buy in bulk and shred/grate it yourself.
  • Make your own coleslaw and avoid expensive ready-made coleslaw. Coleslaw is incredibly easy and cheap to make yourself in your food processor.
  • 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 cheaper alternatives or stop buying them altogether. 
  • 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.

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.

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 low-­carb ­freezer staples such as berries, spinach and cauliflower which are just as nutritious as fresh but much cheaper.

Buy bargains
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.

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.

Buy organ meat
Organ meat is incredibly cheap and very nutritious. I know it's not everyone's favourite but 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 meat and a tasty 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.

xxx ooo xxx

I do hope you find these tips helpful, and if you have any do please share them in the comments.

You may like to read the article on Diet Doctor site 'How to make a low-carb or keto diet cheaper' where the above words and more can be seen, find it here

There is a related post, 'Introduction to low-carb for beginners' which can be read here

All the best Jan


Tom said...

...we do most of these things.

J.P. Alexander said...

Gracias por los consejos. Te mando un beso.

Rose said...

These are all good tips...

Anonymous said...

I find it best to make a shopping list and stick to it.


Mary Kirkland said...

Absolutely. I do a lot of this already.

Granny Marigold said...

Good tips. I'm not sure of the difference between almond flour and almond meal so I'll check that out. Maybe we don't have those options here (Canada).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these wonderful tips! -Christine

Katerinas Blog said...

Thanks for the good advice.
I think they are useful!

Elephant's Child said...

Good tips indeed. Buying in season saves us a lot - and it is generally fresher and tastier anyway.

Kay said...

I need to really start thinking about watching my carb intake even more. These are great tips.4

Margaret D said...

It's common sense. Good read Jan.

jabblog said...

I would add, be aware of special offers - two for one, but two get one free - sometimes they're a bargain and other times they're more expensive than buying singly. That's a long-winded way of saying check the prices.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

A lot of good advice and research in this post. Thank you so much.

God bless.

eileeninmd said...

Great advice! Take care, enjoy your day!

Rajani Rehana said...

Superb post

CJ Kennedy said...

Great advice except the liver. 🤢

Shari Burke said...

One thing I would add is to be willing to substitute. For example, if you make your shopping list with your meal plan in mind, but you get to the store and find a great deal/heavily reduced items, you might be able to substitute those for more expensive ingredients in a recipe. Or you might be able to swap out meal in the plan to take advantage of the bargains. When I worked at the food pantry, I used to do a lot of demonstrations on how to cook with the food on offer and always included suggestions for substitutions. Being flexible can be very useful.

Also, dried herbs can be really inexpensive at some stores and can really change the flavours of basic ingredients.

Great post--very useful!

Donna said...

Great tips! Thanks!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Yes, we have also found that grocery shopping has become more costly (sigh) and thanks for the helpful suggestions. We have also found that delaying a ourchase if we not completely out of something can help. Sometimes, that item will actually be on sale on the next shopping trip.

amazing said...

are you aware of the expense (in electricity) of using a slow cooker? it is worth thinking about how much it costs to prepare some dishes.

Lisabella Russo said...

What great tips! Thanks so much. Groceries definitely add up...

Carla from The River said...

Thank you for tips and tricks. I am so thankful we have a garden!! It helps BIG time with being able to eat fresh and healthy.

This N That said...

This was very timely. I just got back from getting $145 worth of groceries. There's only me and Very little of it was food. Thanks for the tips.

Valerie-Jael said...

With planning things go better!

Lowcarb team member said...

REPLY TO amazing who said...
are you aware of the expense (in electricity) of using a slow cooker? it is worth thinking about how much it costs to prepare some dishes.


Hello and many thanks for your comment and question.

When using a slow cooker not all meals/recipes would necessarily work out cheaper, but in this post it stated "Buy the cheap casserole/stewing meat and learn to love your slow cooker. It will transform cheap cuts of meat into tender meat and a tasty meal."

When considering your budget I do think it helps to buy a cheaper cut of meat and consider using a slow cooker (if you have one).

Here in the UK, it costs roughly 26p an hour to run an average oven, nearly 21p more than a medium-sized slow cooker. So, the slow cooker is cheaper to use than the oven in most cases, but of course you do need to always factor in:
Size of the slow cooker
The meal you’re cooking
The cooking time
The size of the meal.
More about this in article here:-

It is always good to receive, read and share thoughts and comments.
Thank you for taking the time to comment here and share your thoughts.

All the best Jan

DVArtist said...

Great information as always. Have a nice evening.

Jeanie said...

These are all really good tips, Jan. There's some excellent advice here and much to remember!

Linda said...

Beef has gotten ridiculous here in the states. I refuse to pay $15 for a steak unless I’m in a restaurant, and then it comes with potato and a salad. Pork, on the other hand, is still fairly cheap..

Snowbird said...

Some really handy tips

Divers and Sundry said...

Great suggestions, thanks! I do still but nuts, but I use them measured by the 1/2 coffee scoop. Eating out has gotten to be a rarity, a luxury.

baili said...

I enjoyed tips thoroughly
I agree on organ meat indeed (mutton only)
Thanks for sharing amazing ideas
Very helpful

Conniecrafter said...

Nuts are a big part of our diet so I don't see us stop buying those and I thought the lean meats were the best for you. We have noticed it is getting quite expensive but I have changed some things up to make it cheaper for us.

Back2OurSmallCorner said...

Great tips for saving money on food shopping. Thank you for sharing and reminding me of the simple things that make a big difference to the budget.