With any new diet comes the worry of how it might affect the food budget you are used to. As diets get taken up into the world of trends, there is a lot of pressure to purchase specialty foods and only the best of the best to make the diet work. Keto is no exception. We at Adapt Your Life Academy would like to simplify things for you and show you how you can successfully follow a healthy keto diet without breaking the bank!
Focus on whole foods, rather than specialized keto products
With the rise of keto, many companies have come out with a range of speciality bars, shakes, and snacks under the ‘keto-friendly’ banner – these are often quite pricey! In truth, you can get the best benefits of keto without ever touching these products. Fill your basket with whole foods and save the keto bars as treats.
Keep an eye out for good deals
Bargain grocery stores are great places to stock up on food items that may otherwise be more expensive (for less) at smaller stores and boutique shops. Farmers markets also tend to sell fresh produce for much lower prices than plastic-packaged items in stores. Make a trip out of it and enjoy perusing the colorful tables and stalls.
Buy in bulk when possible
One of the best money-saving tricks is to buy in bulk. Most stores have bulk options and discounts, helping you save in the long-run. Meat is an easy one to buy in bulk. Be sure, however, that you only buy according to your storage capacity at home. Separate meat into smaller packs and label everything before freezing. Meats can last anywhere between 4 months and a year when frozen! Check out the freezing timeline different types to make sure you aren’t eating anything that’s past its prime.
Stick to the seasons
Nature’s special clock allows us to have a rainbow of plants to eat in every season. In today’s world with advanced technologies, however, it has become possible to find most foods all year round. Out-of-season goods often cost much more because of the energy and resources that go into mimicking the ideal conditions to grow them, not to mention transport them to your local store. If you are buying fresh, be sure to stick to the seasons – this produce will be cheaper and taste far better than anything grown out of season!
When you can’t get it fresh, buy it frozen
Many leafy greens and low-starch vegetables that are welcome on a keto diet can be bought frozen. Not only can you access foods that are not in season by doing this, but you also have another opportunity to bulk buy and reduce the waste that tends to accompany all-fresh buying. This is a simple, yet effective way of reducing unnecessary costs.
Choose your meats carefully
Because carbohydrates are almost completely cut out on a keto diet, protein and fat take more of a center stage. Meats are a good source of protein, making them quite popular to include in a keto meal plan. If you are worried about what the extra meat on your shopping list might do to your budget, just take a moment to compare prices and shop carefully. You may notice that roast cuts are far cheaper than ribeye steaks, and chicken thighs (or a whole chicken) cost less than fileted breasts – you can also use the chicken bones to make a healthy homemade broth! Bone-in pork chops have a higher price tag than shoulder roast (mainly because you are paying for the extra weight of the bone). Be sure to look carefully. Shopping wisely will help avoid extra expenses.
Consider incorporating cheaper sources of protein other than meat
Try to include a variety of different protein sources into your diet, besides just meat. Eggs, black soybeans, and lupini beans are low in carbs yet offer a healthy amount of protein for cheap. Beans can be bought in bulk, and eggs are extremely versatile, making food prep interesting every week!
Opt for low-cost plant oils that are high in natural fats
Many of the foods that are high in natural fats, like nuts or avocados, can be a bit expensive. If you can’t afford to include these heavily in your diet, a good alternative is to make use of their oils in your meals. Extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, or coconut oil (to name a few), are good sources of fat that will ensure your body stays in ketosis, without financial strain. (And of course, you will also get plenty of fat from the animal foods you buy, which naturally come with fat present.)
Learn how to do proper meal planning and prepping
Buying food without a real plan may lead to spoiling, waste, and ultimately, money lost. Once you have the hang of it, meal planning is an absolute dream in helping you to buy exactly what you need and cutting down the cost of food you weren’t going to use in the first place. Meal planning is all about bringing a bit of organization into your life – thinking ahead, preparing things beforehand, and being conscious of including leftovers, instead of just leaving them to become mini labs in the back of your fridge!
Before you embark on a keto diet, write down the list of foods you can eat, search for a good number of recipes and take it from there! Read up on good storage practice of food items to make sure you get the most out of what you buy. Keto should not feel like an exclusive diet. If you are wanting to embark on this lifestyle change, don’t let the noise of keto marketing scare you off! Stick to whole, nutritious foods and you will be able to do keto on a budget.