Let’s be honest, the Keto lifestyle can be expensive at times. When you throw out the carbs, naturally it means there’s more room for meat ($$). Not to mention all those fancy coconut oils, supplements, flour substitutes that you see people raving about can cost a pretty penny as well.
Times are rough. Not everyone can afford these premium products, especially if you’re a broke college student (like me), or living paycheque to paycheque.
After being on the Keto lifestyle for more than a year, I found that I was actually saving money compared to my old eating habits! That’s why I decided to share my experiences, and hopefully give some helpful advice on how you can save money on your new lifestyle change.
Keto on a Budget and Saving Money
Cheap Keto Meals
We all gotta eat, but unfortunately, food costs money. Lucky for you, there are plenty of ways to stuff your belly without breaking your wallet.
Eggs are probably one of the most nutritious foods you can get. I mean, they have everything needed to nurse a baby chicken! You can usually find a dozen eggs for under $3. For 50 cents, have yourself the start of a filling keto breakfast!
On top of being cheap, eggs are one of the most versatile foods you can get! You can scramble, fry, boil, or poach them. If you’re feeling really fancy, you can even make pseudo-muffins or baked goods.
Cheap Cuts of Meat
Just because on Keto, it doesn’t mean you have to buy fancy steaks for every meal! There are plenty of cheaper cuts that can taste just as great as long as they’re prepared properly.
For pork, try picking up shoulders (boston butt), ham (legs), or even the belly (where bacon comes from).
When it comes to beef, I like purchasing brisket, rump roasts, and shanks when I’m strapped for cash.
These cuts tend to require more time and love to prepare. Alternatively, you can just chuck them into a crockpot/slowcooker. Toss your meat into the pot before heading to class or work, along with your favorite seasonings, and voila! By the time you return home, you’ll have a juicy, tender hunk of meat that cost you next to nothing! These are also perfect for students living in dorms. All you need is an outlet to prepare some restaurant quality food.
Just because you cut out bread and pasta, doesn’t mean you only have to eat meat! Veggies can be extremely cost efficient, and also serve as a device to carry your dressing!
A bowl of salad, topped with ranch dressing and cheese can keep you going for hours! Accompany all of your meals with a hearty serving of veggies to fill you up, letting you save that extra steak for another meal. They’re also a great low carb alternative to rice and noodles while on a keto diet!
While alone, canned meats, such as chicken and tuna can taste like cardboard. But who said you have to eat it straight from a can? You can toss them with a bit of mayonnaise, veggies and seasonings to make a tasty tuna/chicken salad.
Canned goods are easy to grab in bulk, keep for ages, and often go on sale. Check out the latest flyers from your local grocery store and load up on them while they’re dirt cheap!
With Keto, it isn’t uncommon for the weight to melt right off of you. Obviously, you want some nicer clothes to flatter your new physique but the cost can quickly rack up. I know I’ve made the mistake of buying clothes that I could almost fit into, but forget to wear. By the time I find the clothes again, they’re already too big after losing a couple of extra pounds!
Thrift & Discount Stores
There is no shame in shopping at GoodWill. You have tons of people donating their old clothing that they no longer want, where you can pick it up for a bargain. As the saying goes, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. If you’re lucky, you can find some decent brand name clothing or something stylish that fits you.
Chances are, you wore clothes before gaining all that weight. If you’re like me and held onto all those shirts and pants that didn’t fit, praying that they would one day, then you’re in luck! The magic of losing weight with keto was the opportunity to go through my old wardrobe and be amazed at what fit me again. Save some cash and strap on some of your older streetwear that you never believed you’d fit into again.
With today’s fashion trends, you can pretty much get away with anything by calling it vintage!
So there you have it, simple ways to keep your wallet safe while dieting! Keto doesn’t have to be complex with all these fancy products and exotic foods. You can get by with the basics, which is simply avoiding carbs.
It also helps if you cook your own meals. I found that I saved the most by eating at home, rather than grabbing McDonalds or Subway for every meal. While time may not be on our sides, it doesn’t mean you can’t prepare meals ahead of time, especially if saving money is a priority.
You also don’t need to wear the latest streetwear, so take a step in the time machine, and wear what you wore years ago.
Let me know if you have any other money saving tips from your keto experience!