How to Keto on a budget

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It’s a common misconception that eating a Ketogenic diet is more expensive than the average Western diet, but that’s not the case at all.  With a few easy tips, you can be eating healthy and saving much more than you ever did before.

Following is a list of how we successfully Keto, without breaking the bank.

Plan ahead Make sure you’re subscribed to local grocery flyers so you know what’s on sale at your local store. Clip coupons and make a shopping list so you know exactly where to go to get the best deals.

Join local coupon groups Coupon groups are treasure troves of deals, especially in social media forums. Most coupon groups are terrific at sharing the deals (after they have their own stashes) so most social media feeds will be full of found deals! This is free and live advice on where to get deals in your area.

Buy the deals Even if you’re not a coupon clipper, there are deals to be had. Most supermarket deals start on Thursdays, so that’s a great day to visit your local store. Buy what’s on sale and if you have access to a deep freeze, buy in bulk. Watch the weekly flyers, but also be on the lookout for in store specials.

Vacuum Sealer A vacuum sealer is a fabulous keto tool and a great investment. While most kitchen tools won’t make our budget keto shopping list, this small appliance will. Many of us are guilty of throwing out food, but a vacuum sealer will extend the fridge life of most foods by 3 weeks and the freezer life of your food by months and also save you thousands of dollars yearly in food wastage.

Buy in bulk Get used to hitting up the wholesale shops in your area; butter, whipping creams, meats and many other staples are a great buy at wholesale clubs, but don’t ever assume they are THE best deal. Sometimes the weekly specials are a much better buy. Educate yourself and be a smart shopper.

Use buyers programs If you have a points program for your local store, make sure you sign up and use it! Its amazing how easy those points rack up. When we check the weekly deals, we always keep our chosen points program in mind. These points can usually be redeemed in store for $$ off your weekly groceries. You can often purchase Gift Certificates (watch for promotions) for points and then redeem them right away for your groceries. That’s free money.

Buy bigger cuts of meat Any time a butcher, (or any other person who prepares food) touches or changes a product, the price goes up. So, if a bone or skin is removed, or the product is chopped you will be paying for that employee’s time as well as the product you are buying. Process these items at home by yourself and save! Its often cheaper to buy a full chicken or turkey than it is to buy individual pieces.

Shop veggies in season You will often find fresh vegetables on sale when they are in season. Purchase them in bulk at this time and put them aside in bottles or cans for future use. Farmers markets and vegetable stands are often great places for deals. Support local when ever possible.

Buy spices and dry ingredients in bulk When possible, purchase spices and other dry ingredients out of bulk stores or bulk bins. Those pretty little labels and bottles you see at the grocery store often will increase the price of a spice by 300%

Buy fattier cuts of meat Fattier cuts of meat are often cheaper than the leaner cuts and the great new is, they’re often great to add in your high fat portion of your ketogenic diet.

Buy frozen if not on sale We all know fresh is better, but with todays technology, the flash freezing process is locking in nutrients and vitamins and saving you money to boot!

Save bones to make broth Don’t spend your money on store bought broth when you can make your own, boil bones for a couple of hours  and then strain them to remove any pieces. You can freeze the broth in ice cube trays for little nuggets of flavour for your recipes.

Save bacon grease and tallow Many Ketonian kitchens have a bowl, or bottle of bacon fat that has been saved through out the week. This can be used to add fat and flavour to any meal.

Be careful of wasted food The average North American family throws out between 25 and 40% of all food they purchase. Whether its spoilage or unused leftover food, keep an eagle eye on this money waster. Best before dates are suggested timelines that food manufacturers use as a safety, the food doesn’t automatically spoil on that day. Be careful how much food you purchase and how much you prepare.

Keep your cooking simple Cooking with specialty ingredients such as almond flour, coconut flour, sweeteners, MCT oil (use coconut oil instead, it IS an MCT oil too) etc. can be a real wallet buster and are no way necessary to a successful keto diet. These items should not be added into any budgets when calculating keto costs, they are extras and should be cut from any penny-pinching diet.

Grow your own food Above ground veggie gardens and small hobby farms are a great way to reduce grocery bills and can also add to your great mental health. If you don’t have the space, think about a small herb window box. Gardening is known for its Zen qualities, so you’ll be reaping the benefits two-fold.

Check discount stores for ingredients, such as Himalayan pink salt, canned meats and other keto food items. Always check ingredient lists.

Calculating your Keto return is probably the biggest way you ARE saving on keto. When you calculate what you are saving with Ketogenic living, it’s a real eye opener.
-Saving on not buying bigger clothes- Often bigger clothes in specialty store are double, if not triple the price of smaller sizes. Not to mention, most of us have clothes tucked away in the back of the closet, that we’ve grown out of. We get to pull them out and enjoy what’s old, becoming brand new again.
-Heart-burn medicines –  In our life we had a constant supply of Several tummy medicines within reach at all times. In the car, the office desk and especially the night table.  Just to calculate the savings on this alone would be staggering.
-Reducing medicine cost –  So, you might have a Co-pay, but never the less, those meds can add up; Medications for blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol, and inflammation (pain relief) only to name a few.
-Less snack food. -Let’s face it, our carts were filled with chips and soft drinks and sugary snacks. So much so that they became a part of our everyday existence and not snack foods at all. Keto keeps us full and we don’t need snacks.
-Expensive processed foods – Going back to basics eliminates the need for all the extras. We buy the bare bones ingredients and make them ourselves, instead of paying someone else to do it for us. Time well spent, I think

At the end of the day, what price can you put on your health and that of your family? Even if it were more expensive, I would make cuts elsewhere to make Keto a part of my life. If we don’t have our health, we have nothing, and the value of our family’s health??? Its just priceless!!

That’s it for this time! Thanks for joining me for another East Coast Keto Life Lesson.  There’s still a lot to learn and we’re glad you’re along for the ride!

Keep Keto-ing with one foot in front of the other. Keto seconds lead to keto moments, Keto moments lead to keto days. Keto days will take you on a successful keto journey life time. We’ll meet you THERE!!

Our before and after
Our before and after
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