How Much Does Keto Cost: How Much Will You Have to Spend to Stick to the Keto Diet?

how much does keto cost

How Much Does Keto Cost?

The keto lifestyle requires you to eat high fat and medium protein rich sources of food. Which means that you’ll have to spend some money meal planning and cooking.

The entire process to lose body weight can run you anywhere from tens to hundreds of dollars depending on your food choices. However, many people assume that the daily cost of keto is than the standard American diet. That’s usually because the latter features inexpensive fast food and foods loaded with carbs like pasta, bread, and potatoes.

However, the ketogenic diet doesn’t mean that you load up on rib eyes and expensive cheeses. It means that you substitute carbs for proteins and fats to lose body weight. It means getting away from an unhealthy diet. You can even substitute some apple cider vinegar in there for flavor.

Non-starchy vegetables or canned foods and inexpensive nuts can be just as healthy. You also don’t need to be drinking coconut oil or ingesting bacon with every meal. You can cook moderately priced, or even very cheap meals at home. You can save a ton in the United States while losing body weight.

The Cost Difference Between Keto Friendly Meals and Other Menu Items

Not really. You can actually plan the keto diet in a way that costs no more than $5-$10 a day. The amount varies depending on where you source your items from of course. However, the idea that you have to break the bank to eat healthy is just not true.

For keto meal planning tips to suit your body, you can read this article.

How to Start the Keto Diet for Free

how much does keto cost for the average American

You can start with the ketogenic diet for free, believe it or not. All you need to do for the keto lifestyle is start eating whatever you have at home which is high in fats and proteins. You just need to portion or limit the carbs that you eat in the keto lifestyle.

Several ketogenic diet plans that you find online will tell you to limit those carbs to 20-50 grams of carbs per day. However, this isn’t a hard baked rule. You just need to limit carbs enough that your body doesn’t pull out of ketosis.

Your body needs to know that there aren’t enough carbs in the body that it can burn as a source of energy. That’s why it’ll keep burning fat for energy, and thus, you’ll start your weight loss journey on this low-carb diet.

Pick out nuts or cheeses, or even inexpensive meat cuts in your home. You can make a meal out of those and get on the keto diet for weight loss.

The Low Cost Keto Diet Shopping List for Beginners

grocery list to keep down keto cost

If you’re just starting out on the keto diet, then you’ll need some help with your food choices. Here are all the foods you can start with to cut down on diet cost and stay away from an unhealthy diet. These will also help you reduce high blood pressure. That is the keto lifestyle.

Dozen Eggs

eggs are a great food source to keep down keto cost

Eggs are a great value food when you think about it. You get all your most needed vitamins, and a great boost of protein intake and fat. You can also get several dozen of them for about $10 or less. If you want to spend a little extra to get the good stuff, by all means do.That’s part of the keto lifestyle.

They will last for weeks. You can incorporate them in your favorite recipes. There are a million you can try with eggs. Or you can just have them with salt and  black pepper. These will also help you reduce high blood pressure.

Cream Cheese

cream cheese in the keto diet

Cream cheese is one of the best cheeses for your keto health goals. It’s got a lot of fat. It will also increase your protein intake. It also helps to stay on the low-carb diet. You can lose a lot of body weight by introducing a healthy helping of cream cheese into your life. These will also help you reduce high blood pressure.

Other cheeses you can try include cottage cheese or good ol’ cheddar.

Avocados

Buy these in bulk. They’ll last a long time. Avocados don’t just reduce your body weight, they help reduce inflammation during keto. A single avocado can offer 30% of your daily dose of RDV which can be hard to get on the keto diet. These will also help you reduce high blood pressure.

Atlantic Mackerel

A fatty fish with a lot of nutrients, and cheap too. Canned mackerel can give you the necessary omega-3 fatty acids you need and that you won’t find in red meats. It’s much better than canned tuna. Also, a 3 ounce serving will provide 91% of the RDA you will need from vitamin D.

This is one of the most organic ingredients you can try in your daily life. Try flavoring with apple cider vinegar and you won’t regret it. This is all part of the keto lifestyle.

Ground Beef

ground beef to keep down keto cost

Ground beef including fats, zinc, and B vitamins. The less known meat specific compounds like creatine, carnitine, and taurine are also present there. They are great food choices for hearth health as well as athletic performance.

Beef Liver

Beef liver is chock full of protein, but also very cheap. It has much more than your daily dose of B vitamins and quite a bit of vitamin A. You can get 74.5 grams of protein in a single serving. This is one of the best part about the foods in the keto lifestyle.

Beef Kidney

Another part of beef which you can get cheaply and includes vitamins and minerals is beef kidney. It’s an essential part of the keto lifestyle.

Bratwurst

Bratwurst, also known as German sausage, comes in at just $3 per pound in some markets. It is a great source of protein as well as a very filling meal.

The Keto Diet on a Budget: 13 Ways To Cut Keto Diet Costs

meal planning to keep down keto cost

While you will always have to spend some money to eat right and get healthy, there are ways to cut costs. This is the keto lifestyle.

Always Buy in Bulk

One of the best ways to cut costs when grocery shopping is to buy in bulk to reduce daily cost. Why should it be any different when you’re meal planning for keto? You should always buy healthy foods in bulk and freeze them so they last long.

If you’re buying canned beans or frozen berries, or fresh vegetables, then bulk up. You can make them last for more than a week and portion them out so you have enough food to last for long. This will cut down on overall diet cost.

You’ll get better at meal planning and stretching out dollars as you pursue the keto diet beyond a few months. You will learn substitutes and alternatives that suit your body better. However, buying in bulk always encouraged if you want to save big in the long run.

Skip the Trendy Packaged Foods (They’re Expensive!)

how much does keto cost with packaged foods

Once a diet has captured the public imagination, companies waste no time jacking up prices for “diet foods”. These include meal bars and fat bombs or special shakes. You won’t need these things to stay on the keto diet, believe it or not.

In fact, these packaged foods are actually part of an unhealthy diet in the long run. Fresh foods will help you lose body weight faster. Packaged foods are also pricey to boot. That’s why you should cook your own meals or buy fresh produce instead. Keto bars stand no chance in nutritional value and cost when it comes to a handful of nuts. The same can be said for fresh non-starchy veggies compared to store salads.

Add Non-Starchy Vegetables to Your Meals

Vegetables are a key part of the keto lifestyle and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. While they’re rich in carbohydrates and can raise blood sugar levels, they provide essential minerals and vitamins and fiber. That last one aids the digestive process. This will help you lose body weight.

Non-starchy vegetables can help you get all the right nutrients and stick to your low-carb diet as well.

Here are some great fresh vegetables that you can eat during the keto diet which won’t elevate your blood sugar levels:

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Cauliflower
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes

Again, don’t go for pre-packaged vegetables like zucchini noodles or bagged cauliflower rice. They may be healthy, but they’re also more expensive than produce.

Combine Intermittent Fasting with Your Keto Diet

This is a great way to improve the gains that you get from your keto diet. Limit your meals to a strict 8-10 hour window. That way, your body will keep burning fat for energy during the 14-16 hour window you’re fasting. It will also keep your blood sugar levels down. This is the best way to get away from an unhealthy diet.

This will cut down your grocery bill in the United States as well as give you weight loss results sooner. The most popular fasting method is the 16/8 circadian rhythm fasting method. This gives you enough time to digest all your food and start burning fat reserves.

You can also add a double whammy of light exercise to this. Before starting your 8-10 hour eating window, exercise. You’ll burn a lot more fat and work up an appetite as well.

Be careful not to overeat during your intermittent fasting routine. This is a classic case of gaining weight even when you’re eating fewer times a day.

Buy from the Go-To Bargain Store in Your Neighborhood

You don’t need to go to Whole Foods or any other high end market to get nutritious food to lose body weight. You can buy great ketogenic diet food right at your local bargain grocery store. This will keep your blood sugar levels down and improve your overall health.

If you really want to go to a large grocery store to get things at a bargain, try Trade Joe’s or Costco. You’ll get more bang for your buck when it comes to vegetables, meat, and even things like nuts and cheeses.

You can also take a look at the farmer’s market in your city or town. You can always get the best fruits and vegetables, and any other food groups there.

Remember that good food doesn’t have to be expensive. The high priced labels and brands may fool you into thinking that keto requires a fortune, but it really doesn’t.

These Beans Will Provide Heart-Healthy Protein on a Budget

Take this as a trick of the trade. Beans are some of the cheapest healthy foods you can ever buy to lose body weight. Beans are rich in nutrients, fats, and grams of protein. And they’re a great alternative to when you can’t buy the right cuts of meat at a cheap price. They’re also great organic ingredients.

In fact, beans can help you get through a tight day without any other substitutes. They will also keep your blood sugar levels down. A half cub of canned low-sodium black beans contains 11 grams of carbs. It also contains a lot of fiber. Organic soybeans contain a lot less carbs and a lot more fiber. This will keep your digestive system healthy and keep your body functioning at tip top shape.

Choose Frozen Instead of Fresh Berries

It’s a very well established fact that frozen fruit is cheaper on average than fresh fruit. Frozen fruit like berries, are incredibly nutritious keto foods and still contain all the minerals and vitamins you need. They are also great for keto since they contain few carbs and will keep your blood sugar levels down.

Also make sure to freeze the berries as soon as possible and don’t let them ripen. Otherwise, the sugar content can rise quickly. You don’t want that in your low-carb diet.

One of the best ways to use berries regularly is to put them into Almond milk smoothies. Also, it’s a good idea to have a few with Greek yogurt for a delicious breakfast. This will boost your energy levels and get you closer to your health goals.

Cut a Deal With Your Local Butcher Shop

Do you know there’s something called a meat share at your local butcher shop? If you don’t , go ask. You can purchase entire cows or goats or even portions of meat to share with other people. The upfront costs may be high, but it helps to buy in bulk.

The bulk purchase will reduce the per pound price that you spend on meat. Whether it’s beef, or mutton, you’ll always save a lot with a meat share. This will keep your blood sugar levels down.

You can even get your health conscious friends on the bandwagon if you want. The more people you involve, the more money you will all save on keto foods.

According to one estimate, you’ll be able to save $5/lb on beef prices for a whole beef share worth $3000 for 300 lbs. This means you’ll be able to save $1500; a 33% discount!

Organic, Grass-Fed, and Free-Range Food is Code for Expensive

Don’t go for grass-fed beef or any other organic, free-range kind of keto foods in the United States. These are just labels which push the price of an item beyond its value. It’s the exact thing that companies do with packaged foods. These may help you reach your health goals, but they will make your wallet significantly lighter.

You can get much better deals by going to your local butcher shop, as we learned above.

Buy Eggs in Bulk to Get Your Healthy Fat Fix

When you’re burning fat for energy, you’ll need some excess stores. Remember, the ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet, first and foremost. However, you need healthy calories from fat, and not the kind you find on fried chicken bones. Hence, you should go with good old farm fresh eggs.

A single, large egg, has nearly 5 g worth of fat and just 0.4 g worth of carbs. Eating two of these a day can give you plenty of fat to chew. Eggs also contain 6.3 g worth of protein intake per serving.

Of course, the best part is, eggs are cheap. They cost anywhere between 30 cents to $3 a dozen depending on where you live in the United States.

You can get creative and top off these babies with some cheese and cook a frittata if you want.

Meal Planning is Essential to Reduce Food Waste and Cut Costs

Bulk buying, intelligent shopping, and striking deals with your local butchers will count for nothing without meal planning. You can’t just stick a steak on the frying pan and say that it will count as meal planning.

You’re almost guaranteed to waste food without a proper meal plan. In fact, every American household wastes more than 30% of its food. This counts for about $1500 worth of food every year per household.That’s criminal, and should be punishable. There are those starving out in the world, and the United States is a serial food waster. Also, wasting food is very harmful for the environment since it drives extra food production.

Meal planning can specifically cut down on that waste. With meal planning, you can portion and ration your food and cook for 2-3 days at a time.

What’s more, with meal plans, you’ll eventually start making small changes to your shopping list and cut down on foods you don’t use.

All in all, meal planning will cut down on costs and waste, and make you leaner, as well as the planet greener.

Buy High-Fat, Low-Cost, Plant-Based Oils

You don’t need to go overboard when buy oils during the ketogenic diet. Any plant-based, high fat, low cost oil will do fine for your health goals.

Avocados may be delicious, but they’re also expensive. You can get your fats through oils like coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil.

These oils can be purchased at very cheap rates from inexpensive retailers. For example, a 50 ounce bottle can go for about $10.

Remember to store these oils in a cool, dry place. Don’t keep them close to a fridge or a stove.

Buy High-Fat Nuts like Almonds and Walnuts

This is where your membership at a large store will come in handy. While high fat nuts may not be the cheapest, buying them in bulk will help you spend less in the long run. You can get large bags of almonds and cashews and pistachios at a very reasonable rate at Costco.

Did you know you can keep these nuts fresh for years if you store them right? The Almond Board of California says so. Remember to store them in a cool, dry place to keep them fresh for up to 2 years!

Founder, Certified Ketogenic Diet and Ketosis Health Coach.

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