Breaking the Bank

(Pam) #1

I’m still pretty new to all this - so I have been trying to by the right things…more meat less starch (which is expensive in itself) plus the erythritol and the almond flour and butter and ghee (what the hell is ghee anyway) for the recipes I have been making and it has gotten REALLY expensive really fast. At least eggs are cheap and I buy cheap bacon.

I get I have to have things like the almond flour and erythritol (or another sweetener) for baking (been making keto muffins to have breakfast things to eat) but are the things like ghee and grass fed organic whatever it all is really necessary? I guess I am looking for a way to mediate some cost or I will probably not be sticking to this long term.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #2

I didn’t touch almond flour or do recipes until 8 months into keto. I stuck with basic butter and my bacon drippings for cooking things in. I personally prefer sucralose and there’s a Kroger brand which is cheap, same for stevia. I find that even though the meat is expensive (not grass fed, just meat) that veggies aren’t that bad so it evens out. Plus, after a while you’ll find you’re eating less. At first my grocery bill was more because I went wild buying everything and trying a bunch of new things, but then it was the same and now it’s less.

(Roxanne) #3

No, you don’t need most of those things. There is a whole subsection on this forum called “Keto on a budget” - you can find some great info there.

(mole person) #4

After the first couple of months I entirely gave up on all keto baking. It just slowed and eventually completely stalled my fat losses anyhow. I don’t use any of the sweeteners anymore either. Neither product is necessary for keto, in fact you’re probably better off without either if you can manage it.

Ghee isn’t really necessary either, but it’s a good cooking oil. You can make it yourself easily though.

You certainly don’t need organic or grass fed anything. I got down to my current goal weight of 104 lbs without any of that stuff (except the ghee which I use very rarely).

(Jane) #5

We spend less on groceries now than we did when we ate a lot of (expensive) processed crap, but we are 18+ months out and our hunger is reduced and we also don’t try many of the bread substitutes anymore. Just don’t need them - although chaffles have been a nice surprise! And no fancy ingredients.

You can spend a fortune on oddball ingredients if tyring to replicate instead of just eating whole foods. Shop the markdown meat section and pick up a cheap chuck roast and cook the hell out of it and you have meals for several days on the cheap.

Ghee is just clarified butter and much cheaper to make yourself and also cheaper than cooking with olive oil.

Good luck!


I don’t do all that many baked goods. But, when I do, I use coconut flour instead of almond flour. It’s a lot cheaper, I need to use a lot less, and the end result is lower in net carbs.

Most of my meal preps end up being between $1 and $2 a meal. And not small meals.

For example, a meal prep using six pounds of chicken thighs was under $6 for the chicken. So I got 12 8-ounce portions of chicken for $0.50 each. Plus a bunch of run-off broth for soups and cooked and seasoned onions and mushrooms for side dishes.

A batch of a dozen Egg loaf is less than $2. My last delivery order from Walmart had several dozen eggs (@ $0.08 each) and several 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese (@ $0.82 each).

In addition to those eggs, I also got 1# bags of shredded Italian blend cheese for $2.56 each. That and those eggs can make a lot of chaffles, which I find very filling. About $0.15 per chaffle, but I usually only have one or two at a time.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #7

Keep it simple, keep it cheap. You don’t have to “Break the bank”.

You can eat KETO cheaper than you can eat SAD, even poor people can do KETO.


(John) #8

I buy bulk chicken thighs and breasts when they are on sale. I bake a big batch of chicken thighs at one time on a baking pan in the oven. Brush on a little olive oil, some salt, pepper, a light dusting of onion and garlic powder for flavoring, or some curry powder, and just bake. Eat some then, wrap the rest in foil for later. Or part it out and freeze some.

Same with hamburger meat. Whatever they have on sale that day. Not on sale? I don’t buy hamburger. Same with pork chops. Buy bulk, cook bulk or portion and freeze.

Eggs are cheap. You can go for the gourmet designer eggs if you want, but basic old eggs are still about a buck a dozen.

Most low carb vegetables are also inexpensive. Squash, bell peppers, heads of lettuce, spinach. Avocados are often a buck a piece. Asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower can get a little pricey but still cheaper than meat.

Nuts can be expensive, but you need to limit your portion size there anyway, so wait until they are on sale and stock up.

I like almond milk. It is generally cheaper than organic cow’s milk in the same size carton. I buy plain unsweetened Greek yogurt in the big containers. They last a while - portion size is key there again.

I buy whatever berries are on sale that week (blueberries very rarely). Usually either strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries. Not on sale? I’m not eating berries that week.

I have never bought ghee. When I cook, I use any or a combo of avocado oil, olive oil, or butter. They all last me a long time.

(Marianne) #9

I hope you read from folks and rethink your grocery list. Please don’t be discouraged - not yet.

I have never bought almond flour, and only invested in a small bag of erythritol once to make my husband some keto ice cream. I have never purchased grass fed anything or organic meat (not that there is anything wrong with that for people who choose to). We get all of our meat at BJs Wholesale Club in large packs which we break down into serving sizes for two people. We eat a lot of pork (which is very cheap, luckily our favorite meat), and love full fat hamburger. It comes in like a 5 lbs. tube (74/26), and stretches a long way. Big packs of chicken legs and thighs are like $.99/lb.

In the beginning I went out and bought ghee (have never opened it), almond butter (had a half a teaspoon and thought the taste was disgusting - tossed it right then and there), avacado mayo (unopened), and other stuff I don’t remember which I never needed to get. From the beginning, we ate clean food in its natural state - just a piece of meat and usually a salad or veggie. I never bought almond flour and have never “baked” anything on keto. Again, just meat and a veggie.

After about three weeks of three meals a day, I went to two meals a day and then quickly (and naturally), to one meal a day with no hunger or craving. Both of us having been doing that for probably five months now.

Honestly, I find keto now to be much cheaper than how we used to eat. Don’t know about you, but we used to get take-out several times a week (pizza, fast food, prepared food from the grocery, junk food, baked goods, etc), and go out to eat probably twice a week. With drinks, that cost a small fortune a month.

Good luck; I hope you find food choices that you can manage economically.

(Will knit for bacon. ) #10

I started keto in March and stocked up on almond flour, coconut flour, various sweeteners. Most of the bags are still sitting half-full in my pantry. I do use quite a bit of the flours, for fathead dough.

If you have freezer space I highly recommend finding a local farmer and buying meat in bulk. I can get a quarter of beef from a very nice local lady for $2.99/lb, processed. It’s a large expense all at once but the meat is top-rate and it will last us months.

(Pam) #11

Thanks everyone - I guess my desire to bake comes from having done it for so long. My daughter and I both love to bake and its something that we sort of bond over. Trying new recipes and seeing how they turn out. Last weekend was interesting. And it gave us something other than boiled eggs to eat for breakfast (feel like I’m turning into an egg.)

I guess I feel very out of my element. I love to cook, but feel like I have no idea what I am doing. It seems like the things I’m good at cooking I can’t eat anymore, and the things I really don’t like are the things I am supposed to eat.

(Marianne) #12

Have you checked out the category, “What Did You Keto Today?” I can’t believe the meals and dishes that people post on here! I never cooked much or baked, so I have kept to that pretty much with keto - very minimal - but there are lots of people on here who love to do both and really enjoy it. Still not compelled to do it, but I do love to browse that category and look at the pictures of what people create.

Good luck.