Over the years, our mom editors at Konscious Keto, are always trying to find ways to save more money on the weekly food budget.
One of the biggest things holding people back from starting a keto diet is the fear that it’ll end up being a pricey endeavor.
Eating keto on a budget is possible—even without compromising on quality. You may find that you’ll end up saving money in the long run.
It just takes a little foresight, some extra space in your fridge and freezer, and a willingness to dedicate some time in the kitchen.
Eating keto on a budget all comes down to planning. If the idea of putting together shopping lists, prepping your meals, and digging for deals sounds like a time-consuming slog, we’ve got some useful tips on how to make it all doable.
Here are a few ways to successfully eat keto on a budget that will save you time and money—not to mention your health and sanity.
Make a Keto Budgeting Plan and Stick to It
A keto budgeting plan is essential for success—and a lot of it comes down to your commitment and determination, once you step foot in the grocery store.
This all starts with a meal plan and a shopping list.
Meal planning and prepping can seem like a daunting task to many of us, but it sure saves on time and money in the long run.
It also helps you nail down the exact amount of calories and macros you’ll be consuming each day, all without wasting food.
Start by creating a weekly meal plan and an accompanying grocery list. This meal plan should include everything you will be eating, including snacks.
As you plan out your meals, choose recipes that feature seasonal produce and think about what sort of meals and snacks you can make in bulk to last you throughout the week.
Once your meal plan is in place, create a shopping list from the recipe ingredients—and commit to sticking to that list.
Going to the grocery store can be downright stressful, after all. The overwhelming amount of products alone can leave you reeling. On average, supermarkets carry some 40,000 more items than they did in the 1990s. Yes, 40,000!
The good news is you can ignore a vast majority of those products, especially if you’re equipped with a complete shopping list in hand.
Ordering your list by categories (vegetables, meats, dairy, oils, etc.) and with exact amounts of each ingredient can make your trip go even smoother. You’ll also be less likely to give in to temptations that are lurking in the other aisles.
As you’re shopping, keep in mind other money-saving tips like avoiding packaged, pre-washed, and pre-cut veggies. Anything already prepped for you is going to cost you more inevitably.
Here’s an example of how your keto shopping list may look:
VEGETABLES & FRUITS:
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage)
- Green beans
- Leafy greens (kale, spinach, Swiss chard)
- Lemons and limes
- Lettuce (arugula, romaine)
- Sauerkraut (with no added sugar)
- Beef (1 lb ground beef)
- Poultry (1 lb chicken)
- Pork (6 oz bacon)
- Fatty fish (6 oz salmon)
- Shellfish (8 oz shrimp)
EGGS & DAIRY:
- Butter or ghee
- Mozzarella cheese
- Yogurt (full-fat, plain and unsweetened)
- Full-fat cream
FATS AND OILS:
- Coconut oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Nuts and seeds
- Nut and seed butter
CONDIMENTS & SAUCES:
- Coconut milk (full-fat and unsweetened)
- Coconut aminos
- Salsa (fresh with no added sugars or preservatives)
- Vinegar (balsamic, apple cider, red or white wine)
HERBS & SPICES:
Once your list is put together—and this will come easier and easier over time—you’ll realize that one of the most liberating things about eating a clean, high-quality keto diet is that it brings your grocery shopping into focus.
There’s no need to spend your time getting lost in the guts of the store, which is mostly overflowing with sugary packaged goods (yes, even in a place like Whole Foods).
Instead, you’ll mainly stick to the perimeter of the store, where you’ll find the majority of your keto staples.
Make Your Food When Possible
Yes, this means you’ll need to spend some quality time in the kitchen! But we guarantee you’ll end up feeling way better about what you’re eating because you’ll know exactly what you’re putting in your mouth.
As everyone knows, eating out will almost always bust your budget, and it will often break your diet as well.
Fortunately, keto meals and snacks can be some of the easiest to whip up.
Instead of buying the packaged and processed stuff at a higher price, you can purchase all the raw ingredients (often in bulk) to make everything from broths and sauces to dressings, spreads, milk, and more.
Here are some foods we recommend making from scratch that is always good to have on hand:
- Salad dressings
- Pesto sauce
- Chimichurri sauce
- Bone broth
- Keto mayo
- Coconut or almond milk
- Nut and seed butters
- Low-carb flours and meals (almond flour, flax meal)
All of these types of miscellaneous items—a lot of the stuff that gives your food flavor—are pretty simple to put together.
You’ll also be able to avoid unnecessary food additives and sugars that are sometimes hard to detect on labels.
To make many of these, you’ll want some valuable kitchen tools, including:
- Blender or food processor
- Knife and cutting board
- Storage containers and jars
With these extra ingredients and tools on hand, you can better commit to making the majority of your meals at home. Keep your meals simple and give them flavor with herbs, spices, and the condiments and sauces mentioned above.
Check out more ketogenic cooking tips to get you started.
For a Quick Meal Replacement Use Keto Shake
We understand that cooking healthy meals day in and day out is not always feasible. Fortunately, we have the ideal shortcut.
The Konscious Keto Shake is a quick and clean meal supplement that packs in several essential nutrients and superfoods into one tasty keto smoothie.
This keto shake includes MCTs, avocado oil, inulin (a prebiotic to support a healthy gut), whey protein, and a touch of stevia and monk fruit.
It makes for a well-rounded meal that has the perfect balance of macronutrients to keep your body in ketosis. It just requires water or your favorite nut milk and about 20 seconds to blend.
One keto shake will keep you satisfied and energized for hours, so it’s the perfect quick and easy meal.
Use Keto Coupons, Offers, and Discounts
Always be on the lookout for coupons, deals, and discounts at your local grocery stores. Start by signing up for all your nearby stores’ email newsletters so you can be notified about their latest deals.
When you’re at the store, scan the aisles for lowered prices. Items reaching their expiration date will often be discounted (especially meats, which can make for some great savings).
Look for better deals on the shelves that are not eye-level. There are usually brands with better per ounce prices if you take the time to look a bit further.
Supermarkets also like to offer “buy one, get one” free sales, which is another good way to double your produce and stock up on keto staples.
If you’re having a hard time finding everything you need locally, you can also head online to find some impressive deals.
Amazon.com has pretty much everything you could ever think of, and it’s probably the easiest (and cheapest) place to go for bulk on pantry items like oils, nuts, seeds, sauces, spices, nut butters, nut flours, and more.
Make sure to check the per-ounce price comparison while shopping and if you have a Prime membership, take advantage of the free two-day shipping.
Thrive Market is another online store we recommend for higher-quality, organic products. You can save up to 50% of the price on brands you see at stores like Whole Foods.
They offer bulk boxes of wild and sustainable seafood and organic meats, and they even have a “ketogenic” filter, so you can guarantee the product you want to order fits under your keto diet plan.
Nuts.com is a great site for all your nut, seed, and flour needs at discounted, wholesale prices.
There are some places to purchase grass-fed meats and wild-caught seafood online, including Butcher Box, U.S. Wellness Meats, Vital Choice Seafood, Greensbury, and Farmer Girl Meats.
Many large online and in-store retailers offer price-matching programs to get you the best deal possible. Most grocery stores don’t have these types of programs, but the bigger wholesale stores like Target and Sam’s Club do.
Most of these retailers give you a time period (usually 7-14 days) to allow for a price match on any items you purchased that you’ve found online at a lowercheaper price.
There are also some websites and apps that will help you find the best grocery prices in your vicinity, like MyGroceryDeals.
Bulk Buying, Cooking, and Freezing
Buying and cooking in bulk is by far one of the best ways to save some serious dough in the long term.
As you plan your meals and organize your shopping list, think about what you can buy in bulk. As mentioned above, massive wholesale stores like Costco and Sam’s Club, as well as online retailers, offer some of the best deals on bulk items.
You can find everything from high-quality meats and seafood to organic nuts and seeds to pantry staples like oils, spices, and condiments.
Also, don’t be afraid of stocking up on frozen vegetables. They have the same amount of nutrition as the fresh versions, are always affordable, and are great to have on hand whenever you find yourself low on veggies and need a quick nutrient-dense dish.
Once you’ve bought everything from your list, it’s time to head into the kitchen and prep those meals. Picking a specific day to meal prep each week (a lot of people find Sundays to be ideal), will keep you on a consistent schedule.
Here’s some good equipment to have on hand for your keto meal prep:
- Skillet (cast iron is best!)
- High-quality chef’s knife
- Blender or food processor
- Glass food containers
- Slow cooker or instant pot
Once your meals are cooked, and snacks are prepared, store them in glass containers, so they’re ready for the week ahead.
Invest in a FoodSaver
A FoodSaver can be both a time and space saver. This handy little product preserves food longer with an air-tight vacuum seal.
It sucks out all the air from plastic bags to combat freezer burn, dehydration, and loss of flavor in foods.
It’s perfect if you’re especially keen on buying and cooking in bulk. The money you spend on the FoodSaver will be quickly made up on the amount of food you’ll be able to store all at once.
Avoid Packaged Snacks, Sodas & Other Money Wasters
With more and more keto-branded snacks popping up in the grocery store and online, it’s hard to resist trying out every product.
But these are often expensive and don’t offer a whole lot more nutrition than say, a simple avocado, a few hard-boiled eggs, some string cheese, or a handful of nuts and seeds.
You can also make your keto snacks from scratch, too. This is the best way to accurately track your macros and know precisely what you’re eating.
Here are 11 keto diet snacks that won’t kick you out of ketosis. These are easy and fun to make, and each batch will go a long way. And—between the banana walnut bread, strawberry-vanilla ice cream dream, and sunkist lemon bars—they’re downright delicious.
Another money-sucker is beverages. It’s so easy to gulp down a soda, sip on a large coffee, or enjoy a nice glass of wine that we forget how much these drinks can make a dent in our overall budget.
For example, if you’re handing over $3 for a cappuccino every day, that’s already adding up to $21 per week or $90 a month. Just on coffee!
Now, think about any extra sodas, juices, “vitamin” waters and of course alcohol, and you’re adding to that monthly bill.
These beverages, many of which offer little nutritional value, are just costing you money—cold, hard cash that could go towards more satisfying, nutrient-dense, keto-friendly foods.
All those sugary sodas and flavored waters don’t have any room in a keto diet anyway, and alcohol should only be consumed sparingly.
Instead, up your water intake. After all, hydration is key to success on the keto diet. Better yet, throw some lemon juice into your water or tea to help support your liver, aid in weight loss, and provide you with some vital vitamin C.
If you’re a kombucha fan, you may want to cut that habit, too—or make your own (it does take a little practice to fine-tune homemade kombucha, but it can be worth it!).
Many commercial kombuchas are expensive and have more sugar than you think, which may end up affecting your macro counts.
If you enjoy your daily coffee, your budget will be far less impacted if you make it at home. You can also experiment with some of these delicious fat-burning keto coffee recipes.
How to Buy Sustainable Keto Meat and Dairy on a Budget
Shopping locally is ideal, especially if you’re concerned about quality.
Get to know your local farmer or farmer’s market vendors for fresh, seasonal and high-quality produce, meat, and dairy products. Check to see if any butchers or farmers in your area offer a CSA (community-supported agriculture) membership or subscription program.
These types of programs allow you to skip the middleman while getting some of the best ingredients around.
CSAs will keep your grocery bill down and provide you access to field-fresh produce and other local products, including eggs, cheeses, and meats. Many will let you pick what you want, and when you want it delivered.
Putting It All Together
Too many people shy away from keto because they think it’s too expensive or hard to prepare meals. But it doesn't have to be.
Eating keto on a budget requires some extra planning and preparation, all of which will feel like second nature once you get the hang of it.
Always go to the grocery store with a list in hand—and stick only to that list—buy in bulk, plan out your meals, cook as much as you can from scratch, and always have extras in the fridge or freezer for when you’re in a pinch.
Eating clean, high-quality foods doesn’t have to break the bank either. There are so many resources available, both online and locally, that will save you money on the freshest, most nutrient-dense ingredients.
And, if you're out of time, you can always prepare a quick and delicious Keto Shake. At less than $5 per serving, it's an affordable way to get clean and totally delicious keto nutrients.
Try out some of these tips for a few weeks to see how they impact your diet, your lifestyle, and your pocketbook. We promise you’ll see a difference in all three.