Keto Budgeting Hacks
Keto diets have can lower cholesterol, weight and blood pressure, but they don’t have to lower your bank balance any more than conventional eating!
When in ketosis, the body runs on fats instead of glucose but can easily flip back to storing fat if your carb intake increases which means consistency is key. This focus on your keeping your carb count down, can mean that costs spiral up. But, a little planning, budgeting and strategy can really help with the consistency needed to achieve your keto goals, in a cost-effective way. To help you get there, here are our top keto budgeting hacks…
Planning to Save
One of the great things about a keto diet is its simplicity. A good keto meal plan will stick to the ratio of 70 – 75% fat, 20% protein and 5 - 10% carbs, but it’s up to you how you do that. If meal planning is new to you, begin with just your main meals – planning 2-3 big batch cooks is a great starting point. Just remember to plan time for the initial cook and have your freezing containers ready.
Breakfasts are the next simplest – eggs dishes are quick and nutritious, avocados are a keto hero – the flesh is even freeze-able, yoghurt with nuts and seeds, homemade protein balls, fat bombs and low-carb muffins all work well for keto breakfasts. Finally, include salads, soups and lighter low-carb bites for lunches.
Meal planning downloadables are available on Etsy at a reasonable price – or a simple notebook will work just as well – depending on what you prefer.
Buying in Bulk
Buying in bulk is a simple way to save cash – especially if you know your regular favourite keto foods or have started using a meal plan. Herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, keto friendly flour, oils, some meats, vegetables and tins are all great foods to consider stocking up on.
Not only can you pick up great deals online, but discount codes, loyalty schemes, joining deals and recommend to a friend offers can all reduce your monthly food bill. Try using the Amazon Subscribe & Save to save up to 15%, as well as the “Lightning Deals,” under the Today’s Deals section. Look out for APPS that trawl for money off coupons and discounts. Signing up to email lists will also help you catch cash-saving deals or special offers.
Cheaper Meat Cuts
Meat cuts with a higher percentage of fat are ideal for a keto diet: fats bring the flavour and help keep the body in ketosis. And added bonus, they’re usually the cheapest cuts of meat. The only downside is that they can take longer to cook – but this also makes them perfect for batch cooking. Stocks, stews and soups can be cooked slow and low (or pressure cooked) to create batches of rich, nutrient dense keto meals which can be divided into portions and frozen.
Try chicken thighs, fattier mince, chuck steak, bacon and ribs, and avoid lean chicken breast, high-percentage ground beef, and fat-free cuts that are more expensive. Your local butcher will be able to point you in the right direction for the cheapest, fattier cuts.
Batch cooking works well with so many meals and is a great cash-saving strategy. Curries, pies, keto friendly lasagne, meat loaf, tray bakes all cook well in a large portion and can be frozen into individual servings.
Batch cooking minced meat is also a great idea as it freezes well and can be the base for a lot of dishes. Just remember to label and date your portions.
Getting adventurous with your keto menu can save you even more cash – and once again your local butcher can help. Organ meats and using bones for stock can bulk out keto meals while boosting nutrients. Offal can be minced in with meat, giving it a richer taste.
Cooking a whole chicken can also work out a lot cheaper – by freezing the parts that you don’t use and making stock (for soup) with the bones, you can get several meals from one bird.
Eggs are cheaper than meats, keep for longer and can be cooked so many ways. They can be bought in a large box, even in the supermarket, and cooked egg dishes freeze brilliantly. Scrambled, baked, fried poached, omelette-d, quiche-d – however you like yours, eggs are full of healthy fats, fat-soluble vitamins and high in protein.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are a super-cheap way to jazz up any dish. Fry garlic and thyme with leftover chicken or fresh fish and pair with celeriac fries for a quick, tasty meal. Or mix oregano, chilli pepper and cumin with minced meat and serve with keto friendly.
Fresh herbs are easy to grow and can be chopped up, mixed with oil and frozen in an ice cube tray, or dried in the microwave and stored in a jar - so there’s never any waste.
Low carb veg is a great way to fill up – healthily and cheaply. Most green vegetables and leaves are low carb; experiment with broccoli, leafy greens, cabbage, green beans, green pepper, spaghetti squash, eggplant and more. A small investment in a chopper or spiralizer can make cooking veg quicker, easier and more fun, adding texture and variety to your meals without further cost. YouTube and TikTok have some great, easy-to-do tips for creative veg prep.
Frozen vegetables are another way to save £££s. There’s no waste and they can be just as healthy as fresh veg – and sometimes needing very little prep. Frozen fruit is also a great way to get a sweetness fix – ¼ cup of blueberries is just 5g carbs.
Not only are seasonal vegetables better for you and better for the environment, they’re also better for your bank balance- worth keeping in mind when meal planning. Get to know your local farmer, or try to get to some farmers markets in the area for the best seasonal deals.
Cheese in the Freezer
Cheese is a keto friendly ingredient that can make most meals or snacks tastier. A top tip is to buy a block, grate it and freeze it – toss it straight in the pan frozen or sprinkle on top to melt, and you’d never know the difference. You can either portion it up before freezing or out it in one big bag – just whack the bag a few times to keep the grated strands separate.
Quit Diet Drinks
Giving up diet drinks will save you cash and improve your all-round health. There’s even a possibility that they can increase sugar cravings. If you struggle giving up fizzy drinks, try herbal tea, sparkling water, almond milk or probiotic drinks. It’s also good to remember that staying hydrated can reduce hunger and reduce cravings.
Keto snacks can be healthy and (again!) buying in bulk often saves cash. Our keto bars are available in boxes of 15 x bars – made just from nuts, seeds, coconut oil, unsweetened dry cherries and chicory root. Buying nuts and seeds in bulk is a good idea and means you’ll always have a healthy handful close by for when cravings hit.
Homemade keto snacks can also be quick, easy and cost effective. Try - boiled eggs, shredded chicken, cold meat cuts, sticks of cheese, olives, pickles, nuts, seeds, cottage cheese, yoghurt, bacon shards.
Hopefully these tips will help you enjoy the benefits of a keto lifestyle on a budget. If you would like more tips and info on living a keto lifestyle, check out the Keto Collective blog on our website.