Did you save money on keto food products? Tell us your story!
I’m probably spending $100/month less than when I was eating a carb-based diet. I don’t eat at restaurants and I don’t order take-out 2-3 times a week like I used to. In the past, it was rare that I could afford to eat a good steak, but the savings allow me to eat steak twice a week if I want to.
Even if keto cost me a few more bucks per month, I’d much rather give my money to a butcher or a produce farmer than I would to Big Food. Good health is priceless.
Now that I’m OMAD I really splurge on eating the best food, and still end up spending less overall.
Cook in bulk
That’s all you need to know!
I have definitely cut down my grocery bill a lot since going keto. This was mostly I think due to psychological dependency and addictions to not so healthy snacks, sweets and the price of these combined really do add up. Also spontaneous meals (eating out) and eating the wrong things that create more cycles of hunger and eating more often also added to the grocery bills prior to keto. Things are very simple now and pre-planned. I tend to be able to go much longer periods eating the same thing (I can eat beef stew for ie) for 3 months straight. My husband thinks it’s ridiculous and changes his frozen pre-prepared meals (we prepare our own meals and freeze). I have totally no desire or need to change what I eat and just make sure there’s a bit of fiber in there. I also eat the same fiber (broccoli) 99% of the time.
- I no longer stock snacks.
- I’ve stopped looking at food as entertainment.
- I buy fewer items (eggs, bacon, ground beef, sour cream, salsa, broccoli/other veg, a rotisserie chicken, chicharones, cheddar and tuna) every week.
- moving toward ADF, so I eat less frequently
I think that I might be spending more money now but not tremendously more. I’m definitely eating higher quality foods than I used to. And carb fillers like pasta and bread can be pretty cheap as well as legumes. Good organic produce is something that I buy in larger quantities than I used to. Meat costs are about the same. Buying organic HWC is more expensive than coffee mate. Processed oils are much cheaper than the oils I use now and I am using more oil too.
That being said I eat out less, eat better and I see it as an investment in longevity and health. I was being too cheap about buying quality food before keto. Even though I live below the poverty level income wise I eat really well without financial strain.
It’s difficult to calculate exactly, as my boyfriend is not keto. He and I both buy groceries (for ourselves and each other), and we don’t keep track.
But, consider the following:
I eat less meat, eggs, cheese, and fish than I used to. I used to eat huge amounts of everything; now I eat reasonable amounts.
I buy fewer vegetables.
My food needs are simple, and I stock up at Amazon (e.g., canned fish, spices) and Costco. I no longer buy “extras” like hummus, salad dressing, and many other prepared products.
Now I almost never go to the expensive local store. I used to go there almost daily and buy a loaf of bread, a big bag of candy, a large chocolate bar, several baked goodies, a family-size lasagne, a whole pizza, and/or a large container of yogurt. Then I’d go home and eat the whole thing. One of my staples was a 1.65 liter (1.75 quart) container of ice cream every couple of days.
If I go to a restaurant with a friend, I’m not hungry enough to spend $10-$15 on a meal. Just a coffee or Zevia (stevia-sweetened pop) is fine.
I do pay pretty high prices for grass fed beef from local farmers: $7 (CAD) a pound. But at one pound of meat a day (or the equivalent in eggs/fish/cheese), my fat and protein cost me only $200 a month.
“Keto food products?” You mean like broccoli, lettuce, eggs, chicken, and beef?
I don’t know if my overall food budget has decreased or not. Bread and potatoes are cheaper than steak and salmon.
However, there are things that offset the grocery costs.
I no longer buy junk and soft drinks from vending machines at work every day. That’s about $4 to $5 per work-day saved. Call that $90 a month.
I cut back on alcohol, so instead of a $35 bottle of bourbon every 1 to 2 weeks, that’ll now last me at least a month if not two. So lets call that about $140 a month saved.
I stopped drinking diet sodas. I was probably drinking 4 a day on average, so based on $5 for an 8-pack, that’s about another $75 a month saved. Those are usually replaced with just water so I don’t have an offsetting new expense. (I usually don’t buy bottled water.)
So far, just from things I no longer buy, or buy less of, I have about $300 of extra grocery spending money to now apply to more healthy choices.
Fresh vegetables are not expensive. I usually buy whole heads of lettuce and chop them up rather than getting the pre-bagged or boxed salads. Sometimes it’s handy to buy pre-riced or frozen cauliflower or broccoli, though, so I do make some exceptions.
For meats - buy ground beef, pork chops, and chicken thighs in bulk / value packs, portion out, vacuum seal, and freeze. Same with fish (salmon usually). I’ll get a big piece and cut it up into portions, seal and freeze. I do tend to go for “organic” when that is an option, but I don’t normally pay up for grass-fed beef unless it’s on sale.
I was never a big beef-eater in the first place, so I have steak maybe once a week. I get a modest sized-steak that’s usually around $5 to $7, and again, I tend to wait for sales. Or more accurately, when I am shopping, if there is a decent sale on, I’ll buy the steak. If not, I pass.
But another saving factor is that I probably eat less total food quantity overall. I just don’t t get that hungry any more, and regularly skip meals out of lack of hunger or convenience.
Initially (within first month or 2) I’d say I spent more, buying coconut oil, MCT, ghee, etc. Also Keto friendly snacks.
But now at 5 months in, I spend less on groceries OR I spend the same amount but with higher quality ingredients. I don’t snack much anymore, so I save money there.
For those doing Keto on a budget from the very beginning:
Pepperoni / salami
Make large meals and freeze leftovers (bonus points if you have a vacuum sealer!)
Buy in bulk
Reuse those bones! Make your own broth / stock
When my non-keto family has chicken or any meat on the bone, I ask them to save the bones from their plates. I slow-cook to make broth. After refrigerating the broth in mason jars, I save the hard layer of fat at the top for sauteeing and frying.
Buy your favorite food with Amazon’s Subscribe and Save for periodic deliveries at a 15% discount.
I agree with some others that until I got fat adapted, my grocery bill increased. After fat adaption, it definitely decreased.
I buy chicken thighs instead of breasts, which are much cheaper. I don’t buy snacks. I can buy a 60 pack of eggs for $5 that would feed me all week if I chose to do that. Now that (for the moment) I’m mostly zero carb, I’m not buying fruits and veggies.
Now I will add that (on the rare occasion that I eat out) my restaurant bill is much higher. I could eat a kids meal and be stuffed, now it takes much more. But we don’t eat out often.
I started out keto on 1/11/2019 at 264lbs and now 35 days later I’ve dropped 2 pant sizes and I weigh 237lbs (27lbs!). My weekly food bill is less than $25. Whoever said keto was too expensive must have been trying to gain weight?
I eat basically the same thing every day. It makes it really easy to log macros, but more importantly, the repetition makes eating feel more like refueling and less like recreation. I lift weights (Body by Science) and my typical week is a 84hr extended fast, lift weights fasted at the end, 3 days of feasting, repeat. On feasting days my calories average ~3400kcal per day. I think my metabolism is actually increasing! What’s really shocking to me is not the weight loss, it’s that I have visibly gained muscle, and I am still hitting PR’s on every one of my lifts each week. I only spend 20 minutes a week in the gym (Body by Science seems to work). My 41st birthday is exactly 1 month away, and it looks like I’ll weigh less than I did on my 31st.
My weekly food bill:
18 Cage Free Organic Eggs (Walmart!): $3.68
1lb Bacon: $2.89 (Target)
3 Quarts Homemade Chili: $7.50
3 7oz Tins of Wild Caught Smoked Herring: $6.00 (Bar Harbor Foods. I bought 50 on sale)
3 Avocados: $4.00
4 Tblsp Peanut Butter: $0.50
Weekly Total: $24.57
In the UK almond flour, coconut flour and oil are imported so expensive. Occasionally they can be on Holland and Barrett’s BOGOF but Holland and Barrett are still cheaper than buying off Amazon - charge £7.50 for shipping! I can drive for around £1.20.
We eat a mainly veggie diet anyway so our overall shopping costs aren’t expensive but a veggie keto diet involves a LOT OF CHEESE which I struggle with but hey, it’s working, so I’ll carry on.
The best thing is even after a week on a keto diet I walk right past the sweets, breads, crisps (chips to you lot over the pond) and booze, - no hook there any more! - and that has to be saving me money. I’ve finished the whisky and not getting another until it’s a special occasion (I have issues stopping …) and have had no wine over the weekend which has’t happened for decades. I must be saving money!
That’s where I’m at right now-spending more to get some things stocked up, but they should last me a while, (a bottle of avocado oil was like $7 at Aldi but I think it will last me 4+ months??).
I did just discover a local butcher’s shop and their meat is pricier, but absolutely amazing, so that’s going to add $20ish a week to my grocery budget, but we have a chest freezer and I’m already thinking ahead to going in on a beef share, (my in-laws do this 3 times a year and I’m going to try and get in on it the next time they order). That would bring the cost down considerably, to around $3lb, regardless of cut.
Hmmm, I think I eat a lot of food
My weekly trend right now-
dz pastured/free range eggs (free, from in-laws)
various veggies/greens- $10ish, from Aldi and Meijer
bacon-$1.99lb at the local outlet store, (I don’t use this a lot, as a family we go through around 1 package a week)
half&half and gourmet coffee beans-we won’t talk about these
2 avocados- $2-$2.50 from Aldi or Meijer
5 steaks for my lunches-was buying cheap cuts for under $4 each at Meijer, but I just started getting them from a butcher shop and it’s around $5 each now
1-2 servings of frozen wild caught salmon - was getting 4 servings worth for $4 at Aldi, but the butcher shop has amazing variety of frozen and this is going to run me $3-$4 per serving now
-3-5 servings of various cuts of pork and chicken to fill in gaps from beef and fish-$2-$3 per serving (outlet store, Aldi and Meijer)
-1-2 servings a cheese a day-depends on the kind but $3-$6 per block, so less than .50 a serving
-pistachios-try and get big bags on sale for $6 at Meijer, so each serving is around .50
-ghee, butter, oils etc-few cents per serving at Aldi and Meijer
-Greek yogurt-$1-$1.50 per serving, use 2-4 a week in my green smoothies
-frozen berries-.50 per serving from Aldi, to use in my green smoothies
-condiments and spices-Aldi and Meijer and then butcher shop has tons of seasoning mixtures for meat, few cents per serving
-and then a few other miscellaneous things sprinkled throughout the week like sparkling flavored water, dark chocolate etc.
Eggs and whipping cream are deceptively cheap.
Pair those with a bit of a cheap meat (for carnitine and so on), a bit of some kind of offal, and some-fucking-how I can afford a wheel of Brie and a whole bunch of Cheddar to top my omelettes with on a disability cheque. Some months I can even afford a CGM sensor and/or glucose test strips!
I feel like I’m fleecing the government and need to get a job but I’m also a completely unmotivated person.
Top it all with Marmite?
How expensive is beef, really?
I wonder how long it will be before the food industry catches on that nobody’s buying crap food like they used to.
I spent a lot at the very beginning but this was my own fault, I hadn’t discovered this amazing forum yet!
Now that I am doing a lot of IF/TMAD/some OMAD and Fasting, I don’t spend much on my doing Keto at all. The rest of the family’s groceries are still costing us a ton, and I am still hoping/praying/crossing fingers that one day they will see the light too =).
Don’t know, don’t care, as long as I get my eggs, cream, cheese, lemons, strawberries, occasional meats and yoghurt.
You could say it’s a low carb, Canada-suitable version of more or less a Lötschental valley diet (those are the isolated Swiss people who survived with excellent physical development on ryebread topped with a thick slab of cheese, lots of raw milk (since all the milk in Canada is cooked, I use lemons and lemon juice, to replace the vitamin C content), and meat maybe once per week).