How to Do the Keto Diet On a Budget -14 Tips to Save You Money!

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Doing the Keto Diet on a budget. 12 Tips to stay low carb by with everything from cheap keto foods to finding the best deals!

Is the Keto Diet Expensive?

Can you do the Keto Diet on a budget? One complaint that I hear often is that the Keto diet is expensive. I have certainly gone through good times financially as well as lean times and I truly feel that the Keto diet can be adapted to all budgets.

Here are some tips for reducing your budget while still sticking to a keto diet.

By the way, these tips will help you save money on any diet, not just keto!

1. Preparation.

Preparation is Everything and will help you stay on budget with your Keto Diet

Anybody who has gone shopping in a supermarket will tell you the same thing:  Go with a list or you will spend more than you planned! To avoid this common pitfall, take the time to make a shopping list.

Start by making a plan for the week, especially the meals where you are cooking for the whole family. There is always flexibility of course, but if you even roughly chart out your week, you will be miles ahead.

This will save you from making unnecessary purchases and then finding freezer burned items in your freezer months later.

Yup, been there done that! It also gives you the opportunity to use coupons and take advantage of sales for items you need.

On top of saving money, studies show that people who plan and track their progress have better diet results!  Try using this simple printable to plan and track your meals for a week and see what happens!

2. Cook at Home

Cooking at Home Keeps You Keto Budget Friendly and gives Best Diet Results

Sure, restaurants are doable when you follow the Keto diet. But we all know that restaurants are not only major budget busters, you can’t really know for sure what ingredients they are using.

So take your own lunches to work and eat home cooked meals with the family. If you need help with the cooking, check out some of these cookbooks below:

Cooking at home means you get to make some great one pan dishes and casseroles. Check out this great selection of 12 easy Keto casseroles.


3. Make Use of What You Already Own

Use those appliances to create deliciously Cheap Keto Meals

Use em if you’ve got em! Drag those slow cookers and instant pots out of the back of the cupboard, they can help you make amazing budget friendly meals!

They are not only time savers, they are budget savers that will pay for themselves over and over again because you can perform miracles with low cost cuts of meats.

You are not sure how to use your Instant Pot you say!?

Well check out this amazing resource I found!

Instant Pot Recipes for the Beginner


4. Forget Processed Foods

Whole Keto Foods are cheaper and will help you get better results!

In so many of the online keto and low carb groups I see an awful lot of people relying on prepared shakes, bars and meals. I get it, I have been a working Mom for years.

But learning to prep and cook everything yourself is key to not only doing the keto diet on a budget, but also will give you the best results.

That includes things like buying those packs of veggie noodles and cauliflower rice! You can make them yourself for so much less money. Check out this complete guide on how to make cauliflower rice!

Many of the highly processed keto foods out there are well known to cause weight loss stalls for people.

Plus they are super expensive! $5 for a processed keto bar? No thanks!

5. Focus on Cheap Low Carb Foods

Searching around for low carb and keto food blogs, you sometimes get the idea that you have to eat red meat and lots of it. 

While I love a good rib eye steak, it is a luxury item to me and there is no way I can include that sort of thing in my budget very often.

There are many much cheaper low carb foods in the supermarket that will make doing Keto on a budget so much easier. Following below are the ones that I rely on the most.

Best Cheap Meat Proteins for Keto!

Even meat can be purchased inexpensively when you plan and shop well. Use coupons, shop the sales and buy in bulk if you have freezer space.

Ground Beef – This is a staple for me. Oh my goodness, there are so many incredible things you can do with hamburger meat on a keto diet! Think casseroles, keto tacos and salads, crack slaw, chilis, hamburger soup, I could eat ground beef every day!

frying pan with cooked ground beef

And forget the expensive lean ground beef. Buy regular ground beef, drain the fat and you have pretty much the same thing.

I grew up on these very budget friendly  keto cabbage rolls and they are delicious and satisfying!

If you want more , check out this fantastic list of keto ground beef recipes.

Poultry – Chicken is usually cheaper than red meat and just as versatile. It’s always cheaper to buy the whole chicken rather than in pieces. When I do buy pieces I buy chicken thighs.

Chicken thighs are cheaper than breasts and are very ketogenic! The extra fat makes them juicier and tastier but also better for following keto. Try my braised chicken thigh recipe here.

Also don’t forget about those Rotisserie Chickens in the supermarket! Not only are they a great timesaver but there are so many things you can do with the leftovers. Read my article on What to do with Rotisserie chickens on Keto here.

And of course, whenever possible you’ll want to make your own homemade Whole Roast Chicken.

I also am now making my own chicken broth because here we pay at least $5 for a carton of organic broth. Not very budget friendly at all! Learn how to make your own chicken broth here.

Pork Loin – I don’t know why but around here, pork tenderloin is cheaper than dirt! And yet it is so delicious when grilled or broiled. The secret is to cook it until just pink and then let it sit to cook a bit in it’s own juices.

Cheap keto pork loin sliced on cutting board
Homemade Hot Pork Tenderloin with Herbs and Spices

Try my Pork Loin Cabbage Skillet – The ultimate cheap low carb meal that is so delicious!

Canned Tuna – I can get tuna for 99 cents a can. I eat a whole can to myself and that is a pretty cheap low carb food for the amount of protein you get! I love tuna melts, tuna salads and please do try my favorite Keto Spicy Tuna rolls.

Canned Salmon – Canned salmon is great for making salmon cakes and is very cheap compared to regular salmon. 

Shrimp – Shrimp is a very cheap protein and you can get it at just about any grocery store.

Check out the best cheap meats for keto from Keto on a Dime!

6. Use More Eggs!

Eggs are a great budget food and perfect for getting you back into ketosis if you have fallen off the wagon

Keto Eggs Benedict garnished with parsley on white plate

Eggs – Have you seen those TV commercials ‘Eggs. The Perfect Food’? They really are! They are a good source of protein, very filling and super low in carbs.

And they are not just for breakfast, I often take them for lunch on salads or just on their own. Eggs are going to be one of your best budget stretchers when following Keto.

And what about that whole falling off the wagon thing? Read all about the super budget friendly  5 day egg fast stall breaker here.

7. Use the Best Fats

These are the Best Fats to Keep Your Costs Down on Keto

Butter – Honestly, there is no reason to be a butter snob. Sure grass fed butter tastes great and has a slightly better fat profile but quite simply not everyone can afford to eat it.

I’ll take my chances with no name butter on sale. As long as it has no other ingredients besides cream and salt, you are golden!

Mayonnaise – Yup, you can make your own and I do make it from scratch from time to time. But time also is in short supply for me so I use any mayo I can find that has no sugar added.   Hellman’s is always in my fridge, it is fine.

If you are trying to avoid any of the lesser quality oils, Trader Joe’s has a good one as well as Whole Foods. You can try my homemade Avocado Mayo right here.

Oils – Find out which oils are the best quality for your health and then shop around. Read my article on Oils here and check Amazon for some great cooking oils as well.

Olive oil – Generally speaking, in terms of the cheapest oil you can get, I have found olive oil to be the cheapest available in my area. 

You can make your own garlic-infused oils or herb-infused oils to save money.

Since olive oil is the cheapest fat, why not make your own salad dressings. They can be as simple as balsamic vinegar and olive oil, or you can add some dried herb. Experiment and play with this.

Garlic Butter – You can make your own garlic butter by taking mashing garlic into regular butter. It takes a bit of elbow grease, but tastes just as good.

Beef Tallow- Lately this is all that I cook with!  You can save the fat every time you make any beef dishes or you can buy beef suet from the butcher and make your own! Watch how I make my own beef tallow here.

8. Shop in Season

Shopping in Season gets you the Best Produce at the Best Price

Produce – The best way to save money on produce is to grow your own. Not all of us can do that. So shop the sales and use coupons. If you can, focus on produce when it is in season in your area, it will always be lower priced in season. 

Woman shopping for cheap produce in season at farmers market

If you have never gone to local farm markets, do it! You can get organic for way less money and there is something about the face to face contact with the people that are growing the food you eat that pleases me. And if you have kids, please take them along! It is so good for them to see where food actually comes from.

Eggplant – Using eggplants to make pizza can be very inexpensive in the summertime. Add whatever you like on your keto pizza onto sliced egg plant.

Simply coat your eggplant with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning (I like garlic powder, salt, and pepper), and lay flat on a baking sheet, bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, flip and cook for another 10 minutes. 

Then add your toppings and let cook for a few more minutes. Play with the cooking temperature, it may vary with different ovens. This is one of my favorite quick and easy meals. 

Romaine Hearts – At my local grocery store, I can get 3 romaine hearts for around $3. That is a lot of salads! 

Cucumber – I love putting cream cheese on cucumber for a snack. If you buy cream cheese on sale or with a coupon, it can be fairly inexpensive as well. Cucumbers are cheap all year long in most regions. 

9. Use Flipp to Find Bargains

Check out the free Flipp App to find the best deals for your keto budget!

I can’t tell you how much I love this Flipp app! I have it on my iPhone but you can even just use it on your computer. You just set up the app with all the stores that are in your driving area.

So let’s say you have done that and you want to make a pot roast for dinner tonight. Go to Flipp and ask it to find you a pot roast and voila! It will let you know which store near you is selling it at the best price!

And this is not just for food. This is for EVERYTHING!

10. Use eBates for Cash Back(now called Rakuten!)

Use it whenever you order your keto foods and supplies online.

As well as everything else you can think of!

I get a cheque from Rakuten every quarter. Sometimes it’s only a few dollars, sometimes it’s over $100.

But every single time I shop online I hit that Rakuten button to see if there is a rebate. Most of my favorite online spots (including Amazon) are on there.

Get your own Rakuten account and button right here, it costs you nothing!

Canadian shoppers, your Rakuten(ebates) button is right here!

 11. Make Your Own Spice Mixes

Make Homemade Spices and other Staples

One thing I’ve noticed when shopping is that if you buy a spice in a bag, it is a fraction of the price you pay for a spice mix in a jar. 

It is a super budget saver to make all your own spice mixes such as Italian seasoning mix, Taco mix, Steak and Rib dry rub and so on. 

I recently made my own Everything but the Bagel spice mix because I refused to pay $15 for a jar here in Canada! It was sooo delicious and now I make it for friends and family!

Not only can you make these seasoning blends to stretch your grocery dollars, you can put them in pretty jars and give them as gifts!  People LOVE to get small batch seasoning blends and they pay big dollars for them at specialty markets.

Boom!  You gift giving budget just improved as well!

12. Use Savings Programs from Amazon!

Check out some of these Savings Programs from Amazon

Amazon has a few programs for regular Amazon shoppers, but I find these particular ones to be quite useful.

Amazon Prime membership. I spent years thinking I didn’t need this but since I’ve had it now I wonder how I ever managed without it! It pays for itself fairly quick with the free shipping but you get so much more! 

Not to mention special Prime member only deals, especially on Prime Day in mid July.
Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Subscribe & Save:  This program is available on staple items that Amazon sells. I made this discovery when I was ordering K-cups for the office coffee maker. If you have things that you use and order over and over again, Amazon offers discounts for setting up an auto-delivery. You can save anywhere from 5% – 15%.

Amazon Coupons:  Coupons are always a good way to pay a little less for things. But did you know that Amazon has all it’s coupons on one handy page!? This is for everything, not just foods but you can sort it by any category you want. Just now I checked the grocery and gourmet category and there were over 3000 coupons available!

Here is the Amazon Coupon page.  Happy Savings!

13. Price Matching

If you don’t know what price matching is, then this is your lucky day!

Price matching is when you take flyers from other stores and tell the cashier that the price is lower somewhere else, then they match the price minus one penny. 

Not all grocery stores do this, but if you can find one that does, you can usually check out the digital flyers and take screenshots on your phone and use that. You don’t have to have the physical flyers in most cases.

14. Use These Other Random tips!

Salsa – When salsa goes on sale, I try to stock up because I know I will use a lot of it. 

Freezing cheese – When cheese goes on sale I stock up and put it in the freezer.  Same with butter, they both freeze very well! 

Now Go Forth and Be Frugal!

I hope I’ve given you some good tips for staying keto while not breaking the bank or the budget. I would love to hear your own tips for following the keto diet on a budget, please share them in the comments!

These articles and recipes will help you eat Keto on a budget!

This is a list of all the recipes and articles that I have referenced in the article you just read. It will give you more in depth information as well as some great recipes to help you with eating keto on a lean budget!

Other Favorite Keto Family Dinners

These are some of my family's favorite keto dinners!


Keto diet on a budget

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More Fast and Easy Keto One Pan Meals that You might Like!

These family and budget friendly meals are fast and perfect for busy weeknights. One pan meals make for easy cleanup. Faster and cheaper than drive through!

Doing Keto on a Budget
Keto diet on a budget
Doing the Keto Diet on a budget

17 thoughts on “How to Do the Keto Diet On a Budget -14 Tips to Save You Money!”

  1. I just recently discovered you on you tube since I’m looking to start a keto diet & was looking more for a channel that gave more recipes. I already have a few cookbooks that I’ve purchased, Beyond Simply Keto, Squeaky Clean Keto & a couple others specifically for Instant Pot, Air Fryer, etc. I’m a woman in her 60’s, overweight & more so since the pandemic with recently discovered autoimmune thyroid issues, along with high BP, Cholesterol with meds taken for those. I also listen to Leanne Vogel & am going to purchase her new book for women on Keto with wanting something more specific to my needs/requirements. When I was a teenager, I lost 30 lbs. in a month with being too strict on the Atkins diet but fell ill soon after with my doctor telling me my electrolytes were all off. Luckily, now I know more now than back then about critical info on electrolytes, etc. I, like you, love to research projects & have just begun acquiring info on Keto by reading, you tube videos, etc. to gain insight & clear up confusion. I’m in the beginning stages of cleaning out my old, non-keto pantry & gathering info to start planning, preparing my shopping lists, with possible help from some app’s for my phone for tracking macro’s, etc., so I can officially start this diet & keep myself in check. Sorry for this long comment, but wanted to let you know you are an inspiration to me to start this & I look forward to all your helpful recipes & information that you provide to help me begin to meet my goal of losing weight & getting healthier!

    1. Thank you so much Sheila for your comment! Nothing makes me happier than when I see women around my age (I’m 64) taking charge of their health! Don’t get too overwhelmed with info, start by getting anything processed out of the way and focus on actual real whole foods! Then as you learn you can tweak and do more!

  2. Yes, there are a lot of good tips here. But it’s still hard to make this work for just one person, One recipe this week calls for “handful” of Kale. But for the next weeks meals it doesn’t call for any. Fresh produce is sometimes hard to use up while it’s still fresh.

    1. I think probably no matter what food plan you are on this is true, one person cooking is a challenge if you are following recipes. If I was cooking for just one person I would do it in a meal prep fashion. Cook the entire recipe, divide into the servings it suggests and freeze or refrigerate and use up as I go. That won’t work for all recipes but I bet it would work for many of them.

    1. Thank you so much! It’s nice to know that people are getting something out of it. Thanks for leaving me this comment.

      1. I just found your website but it’s so packed with great information and I am excited to begin! Thank you for all of your work in preparing this site. Hopefully I will have good news regarding my health and weight loss journey as I progress.

  3. This is a great read with some really good tips for anyone just starting out on KETO.
    I love to buy whole cuts of meat and then cook and freeze for later. The price per pound is much less that way and having meat options cooked and ready to go saves so much time.
    I agree a pork loin is a great option!!

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