I have been learning so much about Keto ingredients from the 1,000 Keto Recipes cookbook. The book explains a lot about macronutrients and I have been learning how to recognize Keto staple ingredients. There are some recipes that we just wouldn’t try, or shouldn’t make because it would be a little more expensive for our preferences. But the biggest thing that I have learned- which might sound like a ‘well, duh’ thing to you- is how important BEEF is for the Keto diet. Yes, protein is super important and I usually opt for protein items such as chicken, turkey and pork- they’re cheap and have quite a lot of protein. But beef is like the ultimate answer. It is packed with protein and an amount of fat that ground turkey doesn’t have.
There are also some ingredients that (at least for grocery stores in Montana) are a little bit more on the expensive side- that is likely because of transporting produce and meats from all the way to Montana.. just a theory.
I have already discussed ways to Budgeting for a Low Carb Diet. Some of those tips involve preparing foods yourself, purchasing memberships such as Thrive Market, being flexible with your snacking options, and of course: Meal Planning! If you don’t want to rely so much on beef cuts because of your tight budget- then this post is for you! Today’s post will be a comprehensive discussion for ways to save money for the Keto diet- not just budgeting for the low carb diet.
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Money Saving Tips for Keto
Money Saving Tips for Keto- Meat/Protein
By the time I am publishing this post, beef, poultry, eggs, dairy and pork has gone up I think 12% this year. Beef is now nearly $5/lb at Costco. But beef is a vital ingredient to thereto diet! While these are not all ideal, this is something that we can all do to try to offset the increased grocery costs.
- Substitute Beef for a Different Meat-pork and chicken are cheaper options. But ground chicken is not the cheaper almost the ground meat (when subbing ground beef)
- Substitute Beef for a Plant- there is a lot of protein in edamame. Not only can it be used to give you protein during the day in the form of snacking on some edamame beans, but they even make edamame pasta. You’re killing two bird with one stone with this option: substituting pasta with a high protein vegetable!
- Swap Meat for Fish or Shellfish– shrimp is a very affordable option when you buy them frozen at Costco. About 8 shrimp pieces are 20 g of protein, 1/2 g of fat and no carbs! Plus the bag will last a long time for you and only cost around $15.
Money Saving Tips for Keto- Vegetables
Common vegetables in this 1,000 Keto Recipes Cookbook have been mushrooms, bell peppers, parsnips and cauliflower. The struggle with this Keto-approved grocery list is that some of the items are costly! Red bell peppers cost $2-3 at my grocery store, parsnips are nearly $3/lbs. 1 parsnip cost me nearly $2 to buy. Cauliflower heads are $2.47/lbs.
While the combination of 1 cauliflower and 1 parsnip root has fewer carbs than a russet potato, parsnips are not without carbs. 133 g have 18 grams of carbs. I think the reason why it is a Keto item is because it is like a carrot’s spicy cousin. Seasoning can have ‘hidden carbs’ because of preservatives, but if you use a parsnip then you don’t need to add as much seasoning.
If on a tight budget, an orange carrot is a reasonable substitute. Fewer carbs and they are so cheap! 5 lbs at my grocery store are like $2/bag. AND Never underestimate the combination of butter + garlic + salt and pepper + diced onion! It’s my favorite seasoning combo: simple and affordable.
- Mushrooms– several recipes that I have found on Pinterest and the 1,000 Keto Recipe cookbook. But those can be costly- even without inflation.
- Bell Peppers– the most expensive bell pepper (the most sweet) is the red one, the least expensive (and most “bitter”) is the green one.
A reasonable solution to this is to not only opt for the cheaper mushrooms, or to buy frozen vegetables. Depending on how big your family is, and how often you’ll eat a specific type of frozen produce you can buy frozen vegetables and fruits at Costco or your local grocery store. I don’t go through the vegetable and fruit fast enough to buy them from Costco’s freezer section (before they get freezer burn) but they are close to $1 per small bag and those small bags give me like 4 meals each.
While potatoes are obviously not low carb, they have health benefits like fiber and vitamin c and some protein. It is one of the cheapest options for a core staple. They don’t have to be the main focus or heavy on the plate, but just being on the plate helps offset the overall cost of a dish.
Buying a mix of potatoes from Costco is a reasonable option when making something like Potato Soup.
Final Thoughts for Money Saving Tips for Keto
I’ve been experimenting for years for meal planning, saving money on groceries and especially saving money while on the Keto diet. The truth of the matter is that being on a “restrictive diet” (or a diet that prioritizes your health) can get expensive. But it doesn’t have to.
What are your Money Saving Tips for the Keto Diet?
Protein Nutrition Facts Overview
Ground Beef – 4 oz., raw
- Fat 20g
- Carbs 0g
- Protein 31 g
Ground beef at Costco can cost between $4-5/lb
The well-marbled beef chuck at the grocery store cost me $6.78/lbs which was nearly $15 for the purchase. I followed the Hearty Beef and Vegetable Stew recipe, but I could have saved money by purchasing a beef stew cut.
Ground Turkey – 4 oz., raw
- Fat 7.1g
- Carbs 0g
- Protein: 21 g
Ground Pork- 3.5 oz., raw
- Protein: 25.7 g
- Carbs: 0 g
- Fat: 20.8 g