How to Eat Keto on a Budget

Christian Coulson
Updated: June 14, 2020
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Eating a healthy keto diet doesn’t have to be expensive, and it’s way cheaper than eating out.

In fact, the average cost of a meal outside of the home is $12.75 while the average home-cooked meal is about $4.00.

You can definitely eat keto and keep the cost per meal to about $2.00.

In this article, We’ll go over how to eat keto on a budget.

1. Don’t Buy Packaged Keto Foods

The increase in popularity of the keto diet has made companies create several keto-friendly foods, such as keto protein bars and keto shakes.

These keto-friendly foods are not only expensive, but they’re processed, just like cereals and cookies.

Most people decide to eat keto to lose weight or get the health benefits it provides by not eating processed foods and focusing on whole foods instead.

Here are 10 unexpected benefits of the keto diet, if you’d like to explore more.

2. Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time

Look up keto recipes that you can make in bulk for the week, and make your grocery list from the ingredients you need.

Not planning ahead often ends up in you buying unnecessary foods, so doing this might help keep some cash in your pockets.

You can check out these 80 easy keto freezer meals.

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3. Use Coupons and Look for What’s on Sale

Another great way to eat keto on a budget is to use coupons and look for what’s on sale.

Instead of planning meals based on what you’re craving, consider planning them based on keto-friendly foods that are on sale.

You use apps like Flip to check for deals and coupons in stores close to you.

Take advantage of BOGO (buy-one-get-one) or other deals your store has, you can always freeze some of the food and cook it later.

You can even cook all of your meals and cook them if you won’t be eating them within the next 4 days.

This way you always have healthy food ready at home reducing the chances of you stopping somewhere to buy food and spend more money.

4. Ask for Discounted Meats

Most stores will actually offer discounts on meats that are close to their expiration date.

It’s not unusual to see up to a 20% discount on them, so make sure to check out their freezer and fridge sections.

You can always buy these meats, freeze them, and eat them over the next few months.

5. Buy Whole Veggies Instead of Precut

While the main focus of the keto diet is fats and protein, you shouldn’t forget about veggies, which contain important nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Eating fibrous foods will help you stay full for longer, however, precut vegetables, such as bagged cauliflower rice or packaged zucchini can be more expensive than if you were to buy them whole.

So if you’re on a budget, consider buying your veggies whole and taking some time to wash and cut them.

Here’s a great article on how to clean produce safely.

In fact, one of the reasons you might not be losing weight on keto is because you’re not getting enough fiber.

You can explore more in my article about 12 reasons you’re not losing weight on keto.

6. Shop at Wholesale Clubs

Wholesale clubs like Sam’s, BJs, and Costco are great for saving some money, especially for those buying in bulk.

Their prices are typically lower than regular grocery stores. I often buy my meats and egg-whites from Sam’s Club.

Definitely a great option for those looking to eat keto on a budget.

7. Sign Up for Your Store’s Rewards Program

Most stores offer rewards program if you sign up. While the rewards might not be a lot, they can sure add up over time.

Some other stores offer a discount to their members so check out which kind of programs your store offers.

8. Shop Online for Cheaper Keto Foods

Online shopping is not only convenient for those who don’t have time to go grocery shopping, but also for those looking to buy cheaper keto foods.

Some keto-friendly foods, such as almonds, flour, nuts, and seeds can be much cheaper if bought online.

Often times they can be almost half the price of the ones in stores, even at wholesale stores.

Here are some keto-friendly foods that are typically cheaper online than at the store:

  • Almond Flour. If you like baking, almond flour is a great low-carb replacement for regular flour.
  • Coconut Flour. Just like almond flour, you can use coconut flour as an alternative to regular flour.
  • Coconut Oil. Coconut oil can add a hint of sweetness to your foods, which is great for keto desserts. However, due to its high boiling point, it’s also used for cooking.
  • Olive Oil. My personal favorite, olive oil. It’s rich in antioxidants and has many health benefits, you can use it for dressings or cooking.
  • Liquid Stevia. If you’re following keto but can’t live without sweets, you may want to opt for liquid stevia to have your fix without leaving ketosis.
  • Pure Erythritol. Another great way to add some sweetness to your keto-friendly meals or desserts.
  • Xanthan Gum. This is great for those looking to lose weight as it will help add some volume to your foods, which can trick your stomach into thinking it’s full.
  • Dried Herbs & Spices. Because eating foods without herbs & spices can be a little boring, right?

9. Get Your Fat From Whole Eggs

At an average of about $1.25 per dozen, eggs are one of the cheapest sources of fat and protein. (1)

One egg has about 4.8 g of fat, 6.3 g of protein, and only 0.4 g of carbs, which them a great and cheap keto-friendly food.

10. Keep Your Meals Simple

Limiting the number of fancy ingredients you use on your recipes will help you save some money, time, and pounds, which is great if you’re losing weight on a budget.

Focus on cheap cuts of high-quality meats, low-carb veggies, and healthy fats.

11. Buy High-Fat, Low-Cost Oils From Plants

Instead of spending a fortune to get fat from avocados, you can switch to avocado oil. While you won’t get the same fiber content, you’ll still get the good monounsaturated fats.

Olive oil is another great option that can be bought from inexpensive stores like Target. You can buy a 50 oz bottle of Market Pantry (their store brand) olive oil for around $12.

12. Buy What’s in Season or Go To The Farmers Market

Buying what’s in season or going to the farmers market is a great way to eat keto on a budget.

Not only are in-season produce cheaper, but also fresher, which means they carry more of their flavor and nutritional properties.

Plus, you’re supporting your local farmers and keeping the money you spend on food closer to your neighborhood.

BONUS: Shop With The Right Credit Card

Shopping with the right credit card can ensure that you get up to 5% cashback on your purchases.

At the time of writing, the Amazon Prime credit card gives you 5% cashback on Amazon and Whole Foods, however, you need to be an Amazon Prime member to apply for the card.

If you are not an Amazon Prime member you can apply for the Amazon rewards card which gives you 3% cashback on Amazon and Whole Foods.

The Citi Double Cash card gives you 2% cashback on every purchase.

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