Eat Keto for Less
A keto diet is about sticking to a specific way of eating – focusing on the foods that keep the body in fat—burning mode (ketosis). But your keto shopping list doesn’t have to be more expensive than any other weekly shop, and can even get you eating more wholesome, nutrient dense foods.
Remembering the basic principles of a keto diet is the key thing. The important ratios for ketosis are 70 – 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5 – 10% carbs. From there, you can build your meal plan and spend as much or as little as you choose on your keto lifestyle.
Here are our top tips on how to eat keto for less…
- Cheaper Cuts
- Eat Nose-to-Tail
- Fill up on Fats
- Egg – cellent Eggs
- Herbs and Spices
- Valuable Veg
- Seasonal Savings
- Frozen over Fresh
- Farmers Markets
- Freeze your Cheese
- Stews and Soups
- Bulk Batch
- Drop Diet Drinks
- Bulk Buy
- Shop Smart Online
- Plan to Save
- Back Up Snacks
Often, cheaper cuts of meat make the tastiest meals – simply because they are usually higher in fats, containing those moreish flavour compounds that we crave. It’s good news for people on a budget and wanting to consume enough fat to stay in ketosis.
Lean meats like chicken breast, high-percentage ground beef, and fat-free cuts are more expensive and less valuable for boosting ketones. So, choose chicken thighs, fattier mince, chuck steak, bacon and ribs. Getting to know your local butcher can help a lot when it comes to spending less on meat.
Another reason to befriend your local butcher is that eating organ meats and using bones for stock is an inexpensive way to fil up on keto friendly foods that are especially nutrient rich.
Organ meats can be easily minced with meat – and you’d barely notice, other than a slightly richer, gamier taste. You can also save money by buying a whole chicken and using or freezing all parts of the bird.
Eating healthy fats is essential on a keto diet as this is what keeps you in ketosis and acts as the main energy source.
For dairy products – butter, heavy cream, and cheese can often be sourced more cheaply from local farms or look for store own brands. All of these can be frozen, so if you spot a special deal or can negotiate a bulk buy, then go for it.
Some fats can even be made at home… pour off bacon fat after cooking and store in the fridge or freezer. Or heat unsalted butter then strain to remove the milk solids to make your own ghee.
Over-processed vegetable oils such as sunflower and rapeseed are usually cheaper, but this is one area where it’s best to stick to healthier options such as coconut oil and olive oil. Coconut oil can be pricey – but it’s packed with MCTs which help your body’s ketone production, vegan and incredibly versatile. So be on the look out for offers, bulk buys and different brands. Coconut oil can be frozen too – using an ice cube tray is the ideal way to freeze oil into portions.
Oily fish such as tinned tuna, sardines and salmon can be very cheap and a great emergency cupboard grab that won’t raise your carbs.
Eggs are perfect for the keto diet – yolks full of healthy fat and vitamins, and whites that are almost pure protein. Eggs are cheaper than meats, keep for longer and not to mention eggs-tremely versatile! Scrambled, baked, fried poached, omelette-d, quiche-d…the list goes on. Eggs can easily be bought in bulk and cooked egg dishes freeze brilliantly.
It’s a good idea to stock up on herbs and spices so you can liven up everyday dishes very cheaply. Turn minced meat into a moreish keema curry with frozen peas, chopped onion and curry spices. Or rub chicken thighs with thyme, allspice, cinnamon and cayenne for a vibrant jerk chicken with minimum fuss and expense. You can save money, time and waste by freezing cubes of oil or fat mixed with chopped herbs and spice mixes. If you prefer fresh herbs, then growing your own is fairly easy as most herbs need minimal attention.
It’s easy to neglect your veggie intake on a keto diet, but not only are greens a vital source of vitamins, they can fill you up pretty cheaply too. Keto-friendly veggies such as broccoli, leafy greens, cabbage, green beans, green pepper, spaghetti squash and eggplant can bulk out any meal.
Try spiralling to add texture without the carbs. Or riced veg can be great substitute for white rice. YouTube has a tonne of videos on how to prep vegetables, then just freeze portions in labelled food bags or containers.
Seasonal vegetables – and locally grown ones – are usually less expensive than veggies that are out of season. Factoring this into your long-term meal planning can save you cash every time you shop.
Frozen vegetables are often cheaper and just as healthy as fresh veg. They can usually be tossed into your cooking with no extra prep. And the main advantage is that they last longer, so you’re not wasting money on spoiled vegetables.
Also, frozen berries are a fab low-carb way to get your fruit fix. A ¼-cup of frozen raspberries comes in at 3.4g carbs.
As well as introducing yourself to the local butcher, get to know your nearby farmers too. Or at very least, get to some farmers markets in the area. As well as seasonal bargains, they can be a great place to pick up cash-saving cooking tips.
Cheese is naturally keto-friendly, can be used in almost every meal, and freezes really well – so no spoilage or waste. The trick is to grate cheese before freezing – bash the bagful on a kitchen bench a few times to separate the strands. Of course, grating your own cheese is much more cost effective than buying it pre-grated.
Cheaper cuts of meat tend to have more fat, so they’re perfect for simmering slow and low or pressure cooking to make a tasty keto soup or stew and a panful of delicious, nutritious meals that can be easily split into portions and frozen.
Cooking a big pan of stew or a generous tray of keto-lasagne is not only satisfying but can save you £££s. Curries, pies, meat loaf, tray bakes, stews, soups, stocks are all brilliant for cooking in a job-lot then freezing the extra.
Plain or spiced mincemeat is also great for batch cooking then freezing as it can be the base of so many dishes. Just remember to label and date your portions.
Buy nuts and seeds in bulk and pop a handful in a container that can sit in your bag, pocket or desk drawer for whenever cravings hit. Or you can make your own keto bars or fat bombs – using nuts, seeds, coconut oil, nut butter and keto friendly sweeteners.
Diet drinks are expensive, anti-nutrient and may even increase sugar cravings. Water, tea, herbal tea, coffee and probiotic drinks are all good alternatives. Remember that staying hydrated will help keep cravings at bay and make it easier to keep to your meal plan.
Buying in bulk tends to cost more up front, but you’ll be able to plan better and stretch your supply further. Herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, keto friendly flour, oils, some meats, vegetables and tins can all be bought in large quantities for savings.
Surfing to find the latest deals online is a lot easier than trekking from shop to shop. Look for online discount codes, loyalty schemes, joining discounts and recommend to a friend offers. Using Amazon Subscribe & Save can save up to 15%, and remember to check out the “Lightning Deals,” under the Today’s Deals section.
Signing up to email lists can keep you bang-up to date with cash saving deals and latest offers. If you’re new to Heylo, why not take advantage of our 5% off on first purchases, or join our refer a friend scheme?
Learning how to meal plan on a keto diet can save you a bundle of cash. It helps with buying in bulk, buying seasonally, sticking to a budgeted shopping list and making big batches. Getting started meal planning can be daunting. Start with your main meals, easiest if based around 2-3 big batch cooks.
Breakfasts are the next easiest – eggs dishes are your friend, avocados are a great source of healthy fat to start the day, yoghurt with nuts and seeds, homemade protein balls, fat bombs and low-carb muffins all make for a simple keto breakfast. As you become a master planner, start refining to include salads, soups and lighter low-carb bites for lunches. Although batch cooking usually saves time over the week, remember to plan time for the initial cook.
Diets are generally easier going if you plan to snack. Luckily keto snacks are some of the best around and can be quite economical. Try these tasty treats that require little or no prep – boiled eggs, shredded chicken, cold meat cuts, sticks of cheese, olives, pickles, nuts, seeds, cottage cheese, yoghurt, bacon shards and fat bombs.
Hopefully these tips will help you enjoy the benefits of a keto lifestyle on a budget. If you would like more tips, check out the Heylo blog and recipe section or share your best hacks at our Facebook group.
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