Cost is a very common concern for anyone considering a switch to the keto diet. We hear it and see it on social media all the time. It makes sense to think that eating fewer carbs and more meat will be expensive. The truth is that you can eat keto on a budget and still have wonderful healthy meals.
Let’s talk about how you can eat keto on a budget. If you are wanting to get started with the keto diet I recommend reading our guide to the keto diet post.
Eating healthier does not have to be expensive. If you take advantage of coupons and shop around you might even save money on the keto diet. You might have to settle for lower quality cuts of meat or expand your horizons to include meats you are less familiar with.
I figure that the best way to show how affordable the keto diet can be is to show you what we buy and eat. We didn’t plan on posting this when we went shopping so this is an excellent look into our real life.
Our Keto Grocery Budget
Our family (Summer, Our 13-year-old son, and me) budget $100 each week for groceries. Each of our family meals are keto-friendly, even though our son doesn’t always eat low carb foods. We typically shop every Sunday unless there is a good sale on for meat.
In the past, our weekly budget has been as low as $50.00. It took a bit more bargain shopping and coupon cutting but we were able to make it work. There are many ways to save money on groceries and I’ll list a few easy tips below. Right now, with both of us working, we are budgeting $100.00 a week and getting higher quality ingredients.
We keep a pretty well-stocked pantry. All of the herbs and spices we use are restocked as needed and there are some staples that we keep stocked up. For example, we always have butter, eggs, canned tuna, and canned chicken on hand.
We budget for pantry items separately from groceries and replace them as needed. For a while we were tracking pantry items as part of our weekly budget but it never worked for us. Our monthly pantry budget is $50.00 and we don’t always spend it all.
Our Shopping List
We just went shopping yesterday and I’m using our receipt to list out what we purchased. This is a good example of what we buy on a normal week but every week is different. We usually start in the meat section and see get whatever is on sale. Then we make a meal plan based on that.
- $13.35 – Beef Chuck Roast (2 Meals)
- $6.82 – Whole Chicken (2 Meals + Chicken Stock)
- $10.29 – 7 Boneless Chicken Breasts (2 Meals)
- $14.94 – 4.5lbs Ground Beef (80/20) (2 Chili Meals + 1 Other Meal)
- $3.67 – 1lb Deli Ham (Lunches)
- $5.88 – 12 Cheddar Brats (Lunches)
- $54.95 TOTAL FOR MEAT
- $0.98 – Baby Carrots
- $1.48 – Celery
- $2.15 – Cabbage
- $1.80 – 4 Onions
- $3.18 – Blueberries
- $0.67 – Canned Stewed Tomatoes (x4)
- $1.00 – Frozen Broccoli (x2)
- $1.00 – Frozen Cauliflower (x2)
- $1.27 – Frozen Brussel Sprouts (x2)
- $32.78 TOTAL FOR VEGGIES
- $3.24 – 1/2 Gallon Lactose-Free Whole Milk
- $2.83 – Buffalo Wing Sauce
- $2.35 – Chili Seasoning Kit
- $6.98 – 2lbs Cheddar Cheese
- $8.42 TOTAL FOR EVERYTHING ELSE
Grand Total: $96.15 (Before Tax)
How We Could Have Saved Money
So how did we do at eating keto on a budget? If you look at our meal plan we have 7 meals, leftovers, and lunches planned out. We don’t typically eat breakfast but we have eggs and bacon already. Feeding 3 people two meals a day for a week for just under $100 isn’t bad.
Still, we could have spent a lot less. One big example is the beef roast. If we had felt like going to another store we could have gotten a pork loin for half the price. It would have lasted at least 2 meals and usually they last 3. We eat a lot of pork loin and a beef roast just sounded much better.
Another is the chicken breasts. They weren’t on sale but bone-in chicken thighs were. I strongly prefer almost any part of the chicken over the thigh so it was worth the money. If our budget was tighter I would have been happy to take the chicken thighs instead.
Summer also has some go-to keto items that she always has on-hand. If we’ve had a long day and making the planned on dinner just isn’t in the cards, having these staples makes it very easy to throw something together. This keeps us from blowing both the budget and our diets by ordering take out.
One big way we could be saving more is by going to our local butcher for meat. Like many butchers, they offer freezer boxes of assorted meats at a very good price. If you are wanting to save money on meat you might want to check if you have a meat market or butcher nearby.
A Couple Quick Money Saving Tips
Eating keto on a budget is a lot about saving money when the opportunity arises. Here are a few really quick and easy money saving tips that can really save you some money. Here are some more great tips from The Penny Hoarder that can help as well.
Chicken and pork are typically cheaper than beef. Eggs and canned tuna are affordable. Take advantage of budget stores like Aldi and buy in bulk from Sam’s Club or Costco. There is nothing wrong with buying frozen meat and vegetables.
You will also save money by learning to cook at home. Ingredients are a lot cheaper than buying already prepared food. Finding keto recipes is very simple and you will surprise yourself at how good it all tastes.
Coupons can be a real money saver. We joined the rewards programs for our local stores and they will send out coupons every month. There are plenty of services and apps that will also help you find coupons and rebates for groceries.
Another good rule of thumb to save money is to avoid buying anything with the word Keto in the name. There are exceptions but almost every one of these products are overpriced and unnecessary.
Thanks For Reading
I appreciate that you took the time to read this. I hope that I have convinced you that the keto diet does not have to be expensive. By shopping smarter and taking advantage of sales you can eat keto and stay within your budget.
If you regularly follow our blog, you may have noticed that Summer is the only one who consistently follows a strict keto diet. You can read more about my transition to a more fruit-friendly but still low-carb diet. We’ve updated our grocery list a bit to allow for this but overall the majority of our grocery items are still keto-friendly.
If you have any questions or tips on how to save money I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Have a wonderful day.