Low carb and keto on a budget

People often think eating low carb and keto is expensive. But it really doesn’t have to be. Check out our money-saving tips and budget-friendly recipes below.

How to eat more fatRemember that your priorities are restricting carbohydrates, eating a moderate amount of protein, and adjusting fat as needed for satiety and weight loss goals. If you’re interested in more specifics, please see our guides on how much protein you should eat and how to eat more fat.

Eating more protein and/or more calories from fat keeps you satiated for longer which means you can go longer between meals. Not having to snack constantly to keep hunger at bay is a saving tip all on its own.

This matters, as sometimes protein tends to be relatively expensive compared to other food. As long as you are hitting your protein targets (as described in our protein guide) then you don’t necessarily need to increase your intake, especially if you’re on a budget. Use the tips below instead.

Money-saving tips

  1. Keep it simple. A meal doesn’t have to consist of many different elements. The fewer ingredients you need, the less money you’ll spend on buying them, right? Our keto cheese omelet is a great example of that. If you have water with that meal, it’ll cost about $3.50 or just under 3€. Compare that to a Big Mac that costs around $5 (4.2€).
  2. Use fresh vegetables when they are in season, buy frozen the rest of the year (low-carb vegetables guide).
  3. It’s usually a better deal to buy a whole chicken and to cut it into pieces yourself. Don’t throw away the carcass. You can use it to make chicken broth.
  4. Look for deals at your grocery store and stock up on things you tend to use a lot of.
  5. Learn more about this in our guide on how to make low carb and keto cheaper.

Below, we have listed delicious recipes that will fill you up without emptying your wallet.

What are your best ideas when it comes to living low carb or keto on a budget? Please let us and your fellow readers know in the comments below. Thanks to everyone sharing their great ideas!

Cheap low-carb breakfasts

Eggs are always a great choice for breakfast but especially when on a budget. If you want an egg-free alternative, we suggest cheese roll-ups och why not a cup of coffee with full-fat cream.

Cheap low-carb meals

Keeping meals simple helps staying on budget. That doesn’t mean eating boring or bland food. How about tuna casserole, chicken wings or hamburger gratin? These dishes also make for great lunch boxes which can save you a lot of money compared to eating out.

Cheap low-carb sides

When in season you can find fresh produce like cabbage, green beans, broccoli and zucchinis for next to nothing. The rest of the year we suggest saving money by opting for frozen alternatives.

Budget meal plans

People often think eating low carb and keto is expensive. But it doesn’t really have to be. With these meal plans we are focusing on keeping every dish as simple as possible, using affordable but still delicious and healthy vegetables and meats.

Keto: Budget-friendly #4 (16:8)

This ketogenic meal plan (below 16 g net carbs per day) will keep both your carb intake and your costs down. But don’t worry, your taste buds and your satisfaction won’t be a casualty of lower costs. These meals are far from boring. And they’re filling, too. You won’t be hungry between meals — especially if you are keto-adapted and used to intermittent fasting)!

We have focused on affordable low-carb ingredients such as ground beef, chicken thighs, canned tuna, and cauliflower. Then we’ve added a lot of flavor with delicious cheeses and spices.

If you want to cut costs even more you can replace the avocado in the tuna salad (if you are not lucky enough to find avocados on sale) with more vegetables. A drizzle of some extra olive oil on the salad will compensate for the reduction of fat from the avocado. You can also substitute any of cheeses in the recipes for other types of cheese that you may find on sale.

In this weekly meal plan we are also skipping breakfast to boost weight loss and provide other health benefits. Read more about fasting here. And of course, by skipping a meal each day you are saving even more money, and you’re saving precious time, too.

Full meal plan →

All budget meal plans Keto budget meal plans


What are your best ideas when it comes to living low carb on a budget? Please let us and your fellow low carbers know in the comments below.