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Restricting yourself to a ketogenic diet means changing your old eating habits. It means now shifting to a high fat, adequate protein and low carb plan. Basically, you will have to revamp your eating habit if serious about going keto.
What also this means is that you must be prepared for the expensive grocery store runs. Often, you will be forced to adjust your budget to remain on keto. While it is true most of the time you have to dig a bit deeper to maintain on a keto, shifting to a ketogenic diet does not have to be an expensive journey. You can do a keto diet on a budget. In fact, according to Bonnie Nasar, you can absolutely make keto work on a budget. But how is that possible? This article takes you through 11 ways to do the keto diet on a budget. So, keep reading to learn more.
1. Skip the Fancy, Packaged Keto Diet Foods
For years, when something becomes a trend, companies have taken the advanced of processing and manufacturing pricey products. It is no doubt, keto is one everyone’s lips today, and this has resulted in the presence of many pricey processed keto food in the market.
Processed food is quite luring, and companies go a step ahead to make sure you are attracted. But as much as these foods many look appetizing and promising to help you follow keto, remember the whole idea of keto is to go for whole grain and not processed food.
Processes food deprives the great benefits of keto. So, consider avoiding them to enjoy the full benefits of going keto and as well cut the expensive grocery store runs.
2. Pick Your Cuts of Meat Wisely
You don’t necessarily have to settle for what you desire. Sometimes it is best to go for what you can afford. For example, if craving for bone-in pork chops which are a bit expensive, you can go for pork shoulder roast, which is a bit cheap. If you do your homework well, you can be sure to cut your expenses by a considerable percentage.
3. Visit the Right Stores
Who said bargain grocery shops don’t sell quality products? It is just a misconception people have. Do be surprised to find even the most rated groceries in your area don’t have the best products. The idea here is to visit shops or groceries that will not hurt your pocket. Again, if you do your homework well, be sure to come across a few affordable stores near you.
4. Add Nonstarchy Veggies to Your Plate
While on keto, the focus is too much on fats and proteins. But it is crucial to bulk up all your meals with vegetables. In fact, according to Stephen Herrmann, PhD, the director of program development and training for Profile Sanford, a division of Sanford Health, a health system based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, it is ok to have veggies while on keto.
For examples veggies such as lettuce, cauliflower and squash can go a long way to adding volume and heart-healthy fiber to your meals. You may also want to consider packaged zucchini noodles and bagged cauliflower but be ready to pay more. To work with your budget, consider veggies in their whole form and then preparing them yourself. You can even watch videos online and master how to cut and chop them well.
5. Buy Beans to Keep Carb Low and Heart-Healthy Protein High
Not sure beans will lower your bill? Well, most beans offer to many carbs, and it is ok if doubting us when we say buying beans is a good option. But here is the trick, consider going for black soybean (a ½-cup portion packs only 1 g of net carbs plus 7g of fiber which is good for your digestive system). Alternatively, you can opt for lupini beans (for a ¼-cup portion of one brand, Cento, you get just 2 g of net carbs, along with 1 g of fiber.)
6. Find Frozen, Not Fresh, Berries to Get Your Keto Fruit Fix
While you may want to add fruits in your diet, it is advisable to limit their intake. This is because they tend to contain more carbs. For example, a medium apple contains more than 20g of the net carbs. But if you must add fruits in your diet, berries come in handy because of they tend to be high in fiber and lower in net carbs (A ¼-cup of frozen raspberries has 3.4 grams of net carbs.) compared to other fruits.
Although they can be a bit expensive, consider buying them in wholesale and frozen and storing them in your fridge. They will not go bad if you keep them well.
7. Skip Organic, Grass-Fed, and Free-Range
Well as much as many keto advocates recommend going for grass-fed or free-range meats and organic vegetables. If running on a tight budget, then these varieties are not a fit match for you. You can stick to your standard diet.
In fact, Dr Herrmann says, if you’ve been eating a Standard American Diet, you can make a lot of headway (when it comes to your health) by focusing on the bigger picture and worrying about the details later on.
If your budget allows you later, you can shift to organic vegetables and explore those options that exist.
8. Shift to Eggs to Get Healthy Cheap Fat
Running on a tight budget? Following keto? Eggs will not disappoint. They are cheap, rich with healthy fat and completely ok on keto. Basically, a standard egg has 4.8 g fat, 0.4 g carbs, and 6.3 g protein. This means eggs can fit well into your macro goals.
9. Get Comfortable with Meal Planning
Data from SavetheFood.com show that on average, households waste $1,500 worth of food every year. That is a lot of cash. If you practice proper meal planning, learn proper storage tips and buying what you need, you can be sure to do the keto diet on a budget.
10. Focus on High-Fat, Low-Cost Oils from Plants
Without going too far, how often do you take avocadoes? They are rich in saturated fats (these fats are heart-healthy and will help you stay in ketosis) and delicious on a keto diet. Not only that, avocado are cheap and available in most market. You can as well use avocado oil if you find no avocados in the market.
11. Buy Keto-Friendly Nuts and Meat in Bulk
Instead of buying meat in small portions, why not buy it in bulk. Today and depending on where you live, you can find butcher shops or farms that sell meat in bulk. You can as well opt for online subscription companies. Whichever way that works for you, it is affordable to buy in bulk than budgeting for small portions.
For nuts, consider also buying keto-friendly nuts like walnuts and almonds in bulk. It is much affordable when you buy in wholesale.
One thing to note, buy only what is enough for you to avoid some of the food going to waste.
Maintaining a keto lifestyle may seem expensive, but actually, it is not. It is affordable when you have a plan. This piece has taken you through ways on how to maintain a cheap keto lifestyle. Hopefully, this piece has inspired you to remain keto. Still, need more information? We are here to help.