It’s no secret that the ketogenic diet is a powerful weight loss tool. Science has proven, time and time again, that if we restrict our carbohydrate intake and eat more fats and proteins, our bodies will begin to shed pounds, by burning fat (rather than carbs) for fuel.
But while the keto diet is incredibly effective in controlling weight (as well as providing lots of other health benefits), it does have a down side.
It can be expensive!
Meat and veg don’t come cheap, especially in comparison to junk foods like chips, candy, soda and frozen, processed foods (such as pizza).
People say you can’t put a price on your health – but that doesn’t change the fact that buying large quantities of fresh meat and vegetables can sometimes put a bit of a dent in your wallet.
However, the good news is that there are a few things you can do to try to save money when you embark on the keto diet, and in this blog post we’ll show you how.
Prep, Prep & Prep Some More!
It’s not rocket science that planning and preparing healthy meals in advance means less wastage. It also means that you are less likely to deviate from your nutrition plan, because you already have keto-friendly foods prepared for when you need them (or for when cravings hit).
Consider prepping your meals in advance, assigning one day during the week where you make up all your breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks so that they are ready and waiting in the refrigerator or freezer for when you need them.
If you need some inspiration when it comes to meal prepping, take a look at some of these helpful posts:
- 7 Low-Carb Lunches to Take to Work
- 5 Quick and Easy Keto-Breakfasts
- 5 Tips For Eating Low-Carb On The Go
Buy From Local Markets
While buying produce from farmers markets (or wholesalers) isn’t possible for everyone, if you do have the option then take advantage of it.
Buying from markets, particularly if you buy fresh meat and fish in bulk, means that you will spend less in the long run – as you can cook what you need and then freeze the rest for later.
Also, buying from markets generally means that you will be able to take advantage of seasonal vegetables (and some fruits), which are often priced more reasonably when in season.
While these seasonal discounts do translate to larger supermarkets and grocery stores too – such stores obviously offer products which are out of season, at all times of the year, which leaves room for temptation to overspend, and paying over the odds for certain items.
If you want to learn how to eat seasonably, check out this handy infographic, courtesy of shortlist.com, showing you what fresh produce is in season, and when:
Buy Frozen & Canned Foods
If you choose to shop at large supermarkets or grocery stores, take full advantage of the frozen and canned foods section.
One great tip is to avoid the fresh produce section of the store as soon as you enter (after all, you’ll already bought your seasonal, fresh produce from the market – right?), and make for the frozen and canned foods.
You’ll probably find that most of the items you can pick up in the fresh produce isle are also available in frozen and canned form. However, be careful when it comes to canned meats, as these can sometimes contain gravies and bulking agents that will have a carb count.
Some great, frozen alternatives to fresh meat and produce include:
- Frozen greens, such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans
- Frozen chopped peppers
- Frozen fish fillets such as salmon, tuna, tilapia
- Shelled, cooked shrimp
- Frozen assorted chicken pieces (often cheaper than chicken breast)
- Frozen ground beef and mince (make sure there are no hidden carbs)
- Frozen versions of cheaper cuts of meat, including pork shoulder, oxtail and brisket
So how about you? How do you stick to the keto-diet when your budget is tight?
We’d love you to share some money saving tips, so please feel free to leave a comment below!