Keto Diet on a Budget
Are You a Penny Pincher Who Needs to Lose Weight? Don’t Worry. You Can do Keto on a Budget!
Buying in bulk, sticking to whole foods, and making shopping lists are key to keto on a budget.
I’m not made out of money, but if I was shedding the pounds would be real easy. I’d just peel off some Bennys and, voilà, weight loss! Luckily, I don’t have to peel off Bennys to lose weight because there’s a lot of tricks to doing keto on a budget.
Most importantly, the key to doing keto on a budget is smart shopping and eating, which means that, necessarily, sticking to your diet will actually help save you money. You won’t be compromising on macronutrients and you’ll still keep the ketone bodies in your bloodstream. Best of all, you’ll end up with a couple of extra Bennys of your own!
Buy whole foods.
The more you do to a food the more money it costs. So, buy your cheese and lettuce uncut. Also, stick to the perimeter of the store where produce, dairy, and meat are kept. Most of the processed goods are in the aisles in between. And if you really wanna save big, go for the discount meats and deli end cuts. My mom feeds feral cats with deli end cuts, so if they’re good enough for strays they’re good enough for you!
Don’t shop hungry!
If all you have is a hammer all your problems are going to turn into nails. In this case, hunger is your hammer and all your problems are solved by eating. So, eat before shopping! Otherwise you’re going to want to see everything you eat, and there are too many strategically placed keto-unfriendly foods right where you’re most vulnerable, including at the entrance of your grocery store. You may want to buy a quick snack (berries, nuts, salad bar, or rotisserie chicken) before buying your groceries.
Also, what’s going on that you’ve got to do your shopping hungry?! Take time for self-care. It’s a necessity; not a treat! You might not want me to lecture you, but that’s exactly what these articles are. They’re from my series “I Lost 50 Lbs Doing Keto, so Listen, Why Dontchya?”
So many of us have bought produce that we don’t eat quickly enough that I could incorporate it into a standup routine. And then as I'm delivering the setup, people will shift uncomfortably in their seats because they know they've got a rotting bag of baby spinach in the fridge at that very moment. That's why it's a good idea to buy a lot of your produce frozen. It keeps longer, costs less, and preserves all of the macronutrients your body needs.
Meal prep is just a millennial speak for making lunch in advance. The theory is that you’ll spend less money on a meal made at home and in bulk than buying out every day of the week. If that’s not the case then, guess what, you’re doing meal prep wrong! Try again! They’re also a good way to maintain your caloric deficit and ketone bodies because you know exactly what goes into the food that you’re making.
This is an enthusiastic egg endorsement! They’re affordable, filling, and can be cooked in a variety of ways. Plus, you can eat them hard boiled real quick without derailing whatever you’re doing. I used to just eat cut up hard boiled eggs and mayonnaise. I would also chew on uncooked bacon as a snack, and eat canned sardines. I’m eccentric! But, as the title of my lecture series says, I Lost 50 Lbs Doing Keto, so Listen, Why Dontchya?”.
Make your own coffee.
This is a biggee. For the four dollars that it costs to get Starbucks you can buy a tin of coffee that makes way more than one cup of Joe. Coffee, and caffeine in general, are great for the ketogenic diet because caffein masks symptoms of hunger and speeds up your metabolism. Although, you can also mask symptoms of hunger by being in flow, also known as “the zone”, which is the term given to when you operate in the creative headspace that you occupy when being artistic, athletic, doing chores, or any activity where you lose yourself.
Make shopping lists.
Make a shopping list and stick with it. That way you know what to buy and how much you’re going to spend. This is also useful if you’re going to shop hungry because it’ll be easier to shop smart. You’ll also have all the ingredients you need for the week’s meals as opposed to just buying what you feel like buying in the moment.
A high volume, low cal soup is a great way to start your meal. Or you can just make soup your whole meal by filling it with keto friendly veggies and a decent serving of meat. You can certainly slurb soup, but by its very nature soup lends itself to mindful eating. As you savor spoonful after spoonful, you’ll find your meal stretching out in time, your hunger dissipating, and the coin in your wallet extending its stay.
Buy food in bulk.
If you join a wholesale supermarket like Sam’s Club or Costco, you can buy your food in bulk waaaaay in advance and be good to go for a while. Also, these places often have samples to offset any hungry shopping that you might be doing. You can even split the cost of a membership between friends or family. Just make sure your shopping buddies aren’t bad influences when it comes to your nutrition. Unfortunately, when you start improving your life for the better you may find that people in your life feel jealous or resentful, and try to tempt you to go back to the very habits you’re trying to change.
Even though organic food is pricier, you can still eat organic on a budget. The secret is that not all organic goods are certified organic. That’s because you’ve got to jump through hoops and pay fees for the organic certification. So, head to a farmer’s market and you’re likely to find affordable, high quality foods.