Eating KETO on a Budget

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  Hello lovelies! 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 KETO IN A NUTSHELL For those of you unaware of the ketogenic diet, it is a HIGH FAT, low carbohydrate, moderate protein diet. The modern ketogenic diet has been around since the 20s and 30s!  Many people are placed on, or choose to incorporate, ketogenic diets by doctors and nutritionists to combat autoimmune diseases, gluten allergies, diabetes, epilepsy, PCOS, infertility issues, Hashimoto’s syndrome, and a plethora of other illnesses.  The fundamental logic of a ketogenic diet is that when you eliminate simple carbohydrates while decreasing your intake of protein, your body begins to use your fat cells (those previously stored and new) for fuel. This process is called nutritional ketosis. When you’re burning fat for fuel, your body reacts in an amazing way! And a MAJOR benefit, aside from being healthy, is weightloss.  Many people question how you can eat a Keto Diet and be healthy but numbers don’t lie folks. I’m not a health professional, a dietician, a scientist, or a health nut, but I do know how to read and research!  One of the BEST resources I found was a book by Leanne Vogel titled The Keto Diet. It goes very in depth, almost like a textbook, to explain how our bodies work and why ketogenic diets are safe and successful. I HIGHLY recommend ordering a copy for yourself!  OUR TRANSITION TO KETO  After researching keto, it was a no brainer for us to give it a shot. As with any healthy eating regimen, it can be expensive. Unfortunately, the poorest quality foods are the most available and affordable. But, this isn’t a political post so we’ll skip that talk. ???? I knew eating keto was going to cost us a pretty penny but I was dying (no pun intended) to get healthy, lose weight, and feel better so it was a worthwhile investment. HOW I SHOP & MEAL PLAN We are a family of 4. A typical month’s grocery bill was $400-500. Included in that are whatever regular medications, toiletries, and home items we need. Since eating keto, our grocery bills have increased about $100-150 bi-weekly. I’m a big Costco shopper too! I like to go once a month (who am I kidding, I go like 3-4x a 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! 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 about to go bad BUT you can put them in your freezer and save them for a rainy day. I’ve gotten steaks and chops for cents on the dollar! 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 way overbuying, throwing away things that go 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’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.  I used to do 2 weeks worth of planning and a time and that was insane. I was trying to be way too overachieving. I cut that down to 1 week, which I may resume in the fall, but for now I love what I’m doing!  It’s been much easier for me to stick to my budget by buying a little more at a time!  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!    I scored all of this for $54 yesterday by shopping sales and coupons! That’s a week’s worth of snacks for my kids, some keto items for dinners and snacks, and a couple household items. Not too shabby! KETO & 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! ???? For more keto tips, recipes, humor, and encouragement, follow me on Instagram (@keto_in_pearls)! KCKO,Anna  PS., that means keep calm and keto on! ✌????          


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