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One very common notion people have of the ketogenic diet is that it is quote expensive to implement and maintain. And there are actually a certain number of people who may stop being faithful to their keto diet because of the dent it puts in their wallet.
But it doesn’t actually have to be that way. And getting in shape and living healthy doesn’t actually have to be as expensive as you may think.
This guide will show you how to save big bucks while on keto and not break the bank, without having to compromise delicious meals. So you can still save money, lose weight, improve your health and stay on top.
Let’s dive in.
Keto on a budget – How does it work?
Following a ketogenic diet on a budget is actually pretty easy, with the right steps in place. The common issue is that certain products needed on a low carb diet tend to be rather expensive, or out of our expected budget, among few other factors.
Regardless, it’s still possible to do keto on a budget and save money. But the whole idea of doing keto on a budget and saving money only works if
- You still enjoy the best of delicious and healthy keto foods
- You still on track with your macros and goals
- And you actually get to save money
So, here are some tips to help you start saving money on keto.
How to save money on a keto diet
You can still enjoy the keto diet even with little money on your hands. These tips will help you save more money on keto while still enjoying the best of keto meals and staying on track with your goals.
It’s broken down into 3 sections
At the store
1) Buy items in bulk
One good tip to help you follow keto on a budget is bulk buying. There are several ways bulk buying can help you save big time. One of them is due to less temptation.
Stores are full of different food products that can tempt you into buying them. A lot of which may not actually be that useful. Buying in bulk helps prevent more frequent trips to the store thereby reducing the temptation to purchase something you don’t need.
But that’s not the only thing. Depending on where you stay, certain stores may offer discounts from time to time based on the amount of an item you’re buying. Things like “buy one get one free” or other discounts like that will help.
Also, bulk buying becomes more effective when you can buy the food items at wholesale price rather than retail. Places like Costco and Walmart are good ideas and would definitely be cheaper than your local store.
Your farmer’s market is also another brilliant place to get cheaper things in bulk when it comes to crop produce. In the case of meats and beefs, your local butcher is certain to be of help as well.
In conclusion, bulk buying is a good way to save some extra bucks.
2) Take advantage of special discounts
Like I said earlier above, certain shops give discounts every now and then. It could be in a “buy one get one free” offer or a “buy two get one free” and so on. Coupling these discounts with bulk buying is a pretty effective way to save money.
On top of that, discounts do come around when the expiration date of a product is around the corner. When a product is about to expire, you’ll find it to be generally cheaper.
It is a good idea to take advantage of such deals and stock up on what you need. However, you also need to consider the time period you intend to use such an item.
For example, if you’re buying something that expires in say, 2 weeks, but you intend to use it for about a month, buying it wouldn’t be much of a good idea. Except of course, you don’t care for expiry dates. But I certainly don’t advise it.
But let’s say you’re buying cans of tuna that expires in say, 2 months and you plan to use them within the next 2 weeks. That kind of discount is surely a no brainer.
Bottom line is, just make sure when you’re getting discounts on products because of their expiry date that you can actually use it before then. Or else it’ll only lead to wastage or the problems associated with consuming expired products.
Some shops also offer discount cards with points that can add up over time. Don’t hesitate to grab one of those as well. The points can add up and save you extra money someday.
So all in all, always take advantage of discounts within reason.
3) Buy food items online
Certain food items usually tend to be cheaper online than at your local store, even with the shipping and other costs included. Things like nuts, coconut oil and almond flour are usually cheaper online.
Another thing that could save you some extra money is cashback apps. Basically these are apps that give you points or a certain percentage of money back when you buy something.
These rewards can add up and end up putting a little extra cash in your pocket over time.
Simply look for such apps that are effective in your area and take advantage of them. Although be sure to watch out for fakes.
1) Plan your meals ahead of time
If you’re not very big on planning your meals, then you really have to reconsider. Planning your meals will help you save a huge amount of money when it comes to unnecessary or last minute purchases.
Without a proper meal plan in place, you’ll find out that you end up buying a lot more things than you need, both on the short run and on the long run. Proper meal planning helps you avoid all those unnecessary expenses.
There are several ways you can plan your meals. Either monthly, weekly or bi-weekly. Here’s how it works
- Create a timetable for the meals or recipes you plan to enjoy
- Make a list of the food items you’ll need for the time period you’re most comfortable with (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly)
- Buy those food items, preferably in bulk
- Try to stick to the meal plan.
It’s as simple as that. Although it seems easy, it can still be challenging at time, especially when it comes to choosing what foods to eat.
If you’re new to meal planning and not sure how to get started, then check out our free low carb meal planner. It lets you plan out your meals and shopping lists for the week while helping you keep track of your progress.
You can get it for free once you sign up to our newsletter along with other free keto resources.
Having a pretty good cookbook loaded with simple and delicious recipes is also a pretty nice way to start.
If you still find the planning a little tiring, you can get pre-planned meal plans delivered to your inbox each week.
Overall, meal planning helps you keep things simple organized and will help you save more money on keto.
2) Cook and store in bulk
Buying things in bulk is a good idea, but only if you have a way to manage those things. Cooking and storing in bulk is a good way to save you time and money on keto.
When you cook in bulk, you don’t have to worry about what you have to eat over the next couple of days at least. You can simply store the rest and just reheat it when needed.
A food saver is a pretty effective tool when it comes to freezing in bulk. It helps to prevent freezer burn so the good taste and freshness is still preserved in your meals even after you freeze them for a long time.
Although a little extra time may be needed to prepare the ingredients for the mass cooking, you don’t need to worry. You can simply set out a particular day where you have more time on your hands to do the prepping.
It’s always better and saves more time and money on the long run.
3) Make your own ingredients at home
It’s no news that buying processed foods will generally be more expensive than buying the unprocessed foods. And for someone trying to follow keto on a budget, a good way to cut costs is by making your own ingredients at home.
A good way to do this is with a food processor, which makes it easier to process common food items like nut butters and flours which you would normally end up paying more for. It is most certainly a worthy investment.
There’s also another upside to making your own ingredients at home. It helps you easily avoid the extra carbs and unnecessary ingredients that go into the normal processed products you would buy at the store.
The shredded versions of certain food items also tend to be more expensive than the whole versions.
Cheese is a very good example of such. Rather than buying grated or shredded cheese, you can buy a whole block of cheese and just easily shred it at home by yourself.
Sure it may take a little extra time. But with the right equipment at hand, it’s definitely worth it and will reduce the total spend on that particular food item.
1) Eat out less often
Even though it’s possible to stay low carb when eating out, generally eating out is more expensive. And eating out more often can chunk up your budget rather quickly, making you spend more money overall.
Rather than eating out, save the extra money and eat at home instead. Plus, when you eat out, you usually have less flexibility and control over your carb intake than when you prepare your meals at home by yourself.
2) Pack lunches and snacks when necessary
It’s normal to get hungry especially when you’re spending almost all day at the office. In such cases, you can’t just go home to eat and then go back just like that without getting heart-warming letters from your boss.
At times like that, packing your lunch and certain keto snacks can help you save the extra cost of eating out. You can get good lunch and snack boxes online as well.
Certain foods like your favourite low carb salads or avocado and eggs can easily be carried to work. If your workplace happens to have a fridge and a microwave, you can carry a couple of other meals as well and simply just warm them up.
Things to avoid when doing keto on a budget.
Just as there are important steps to take to help you save some more cash, there are also certain things and pitfalls you should avoid. Here are 3 things to avoid when following a keto diet on a budget.
1) Excessive snacking
Snacks are great and you can definitely enjoy them every once in a while. But excessive snacking only makes you eat more than you need. Not only can this affect your results, but it can also increase your weekly or monthly spend on food items.
If you find yourself getting hungry rather easily, try adding more fat and protein to your diet. Fats and protein are very satiating and will help keep you fuller for longer, reducing the need for snacking more frequently.
2) Settling for low quality products
This is a common mistake people tend to make when trying to do keto on a budget. Just because you’re trying to save some bucks doesn’t mean you have to settle for low quality products.
The steps above are meant to help you get high quality food items at cheaper rates, and not low quality food items. Always make sure you’re getting cheap high quality products and not the other way around.
3) Impulsive buying
We’ve all done it at some point in time and frankly, some people find themselves addicted to it. Impulsive buying only leads you to buying things you don’t really need.
Rather than buying impulsively, create a shopping list and meal plan and try to stick to it. You’ll find that impulsive buying was never really worth it.
Summing it all up
The keto diet is an effective way to keep fit and stay healthy, but many people tend to find it quite expensive. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
There are certain steps that can be taken to help you follow keto on a budget and save money without compromising delicious meals or your goals.
Here’s a quick summary of how to do it
- Buy items in bulk
- Take advantage of special discounts
- Buy ingredients online
- Plan your meals ahead of time
- Cook and store in bulk
- Make your own ingredients at home
- Eat out less often
- Pack lunches and snacks where necessary
- Avoid excessive snacking
- Do not settle for low quality products
- Avoid impulsive buying
With these simple and easy steps, you’ll end up saving a lot more money on your keto diet while still enjoying it to the fullest.
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