Eating keto on a budget is possible! In this post, I share all my wisdom for how I stick to a budget every month and maintain my ketogenic diet.
I thought it might be a wise idea to share how we afford to eat a ketogenic diet! Unless you’re wealthy, which we are not, every dollar matters when you’re raising a family. Since we choose for me to stay at home with the kids, that means I need to be prudent when meal planning and grocery shopping
We are a family of
4 5. We have 3 very hungry children. Although our youngest, 8 months, is just now starting to eat table food.
A typical month’s grocery bill for us is about $600. My total grocery expenses are much higher than that since I am a food blogger, but for family needs, it’s usually about $600. My budget includes toiletries and household items as well.
Along with shopping at the regular grocery store, I’m a big warehouse shopper too! I like to go a couple of times per month and stock up on meat, pantry items, etc. I almost always have some kind of meat or seafood in our deep freezer which has been a big help! Warehouse shopping costs a little more up front but it saves in the long run. My Costco runs are included in my regular budget! (sometimes I bust the budget at Costco though)
A really penny wise practice is to always check the manager’s special area of your grocer’s meat department for marked down meats. These are items that are at their sell-by date. You can put them in your freezer and have food on hand for a rainy day.
My last tip is important: don’t get sucked in to buying all the speciality products. The Keto Diet has garnered so much attention the last couple of years and companies are riding that gravy train. Don’t order what you can’t afford because you think you need it. You don’t. I repeat: YOU DON’T NEED IT. (and that is coming from someone who’s job is to share products I love)
All you need for a ketogenic diet are whole-God-given foods that you can buy at the grocery.
I see far too many people thinking that they can’t afford to eat keto because they can’t afford exogenous ketones, special protein bars, fancy pork rinds, protein shakes, or any of the other things you see advertised. Don’t fall victim to FOMO. If you can’t afford it, don’t order it!
Plan your meals around sales
When it comes to meal planning, I’ve stopped trying to plan an entire week or two at a time. I found myself overbuying, throwing away things that went bad, and just being plain wasteful. That’s literally throwing money away!
Since school let out for summer and we don’t have a tight schedule to keep, I have changed my meal planning routine up and it’s actually saving us money!! I plan 2-3 meals at a time based on what’s on sale at my local grocery stores. I shop Kroger and Aldi (and Costco) 90% of the time. Sometimes I’ll run to specialty shops (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s) but it’s rare because they’re far from where I live (rural KY living).
I used to do 2 weeks worth of meal planning at a time. It was insane! I was wasting food, feeling like I failed when I didn’t make everything I had planned, and stressed out. By planning 3 or 4 days of meals a at time, it’s been much easier for me to stick to my budget and keep my sanity!
I’ve discovered a few benefits to only planning a couple meals at a time:
1. I’m less overwhelmed trying to keep an exciting menu!
2. We waste less food!
3. I’m able to concentrate on sales & coupons more!
4. We’re eating healthier meals because I’m buying less junk when I wander the store for long lengths of time! (also eliminates unnecessary spending)
5. Our money stretches farther.
Almost every grocer has digital coupons now too! Those are your friends! Kroger (and their sister companies) always do the “mega events” where you buy 5 items for $5. Shop those sales! Yesterday, I scored 3 packages of Pampers baby wipes for $.50 a piece because of the 5 for $5 + a $.50 digital coupon! That’s a deal!
Do what works for you
Don’t be afraid you’ll go broke eating a ketogenic diet. You won’t! In fact, you’ll be richer in health and money saving wisdom!
If it saves you $10 to get a few items at one store and a few at another, do it! If organic or grass fed meat isn’t on sale one week, then don’t buy it! It won’t kill you to eat non-organic! If you need to make a cheap meal of hot dogs and tuna fish, then do it!
Just keep it keto (low carb, high fat)! Keto is a way of life. You can’t put a price on health and wellbeing but you CAN budget for it!