On first appearance, a low-carb diet seems expensive. Comparatively, fresh foods are pricier than processed food, but don't overlook quality vs quantity. A low-carb diet is rich in protein and fat, keeping you fuller for longer, so you will eat less overall.
Diabetes reversal is accessible to everyone, With a little guidance, it's possible to follow a low carb diet without it haemorrhaging your bank account. In this article, I will discuss some simple tricks and tips, to help you get more bang for your buck.
1. Eat more fat
Fat is satiating and a great source of nourishment. You'll be surprised by how little food you need, once you increase your fat intake. Good quality sources of fats include fatty meat, fish, cream, cheese, coconut oil, cocoa butter, avocado, butter, ghee, lard, olive oil, and olives. Also, check out our pork scratching recipe. These will keep hunger pangs at bay and are cheap and easy to make.
2. Try Intermittent fasting
Eating fewer meals throughout the day will instantly save you money and benefit your health. There's no catch, it's as simple as that.
3. Choose cheaper, less popular cuts of meat
Less popular cut of meat are generally cheaper and fattier, so that's a win-win! Here's some cuts to look out for : cheek, shin, skirt, brisket, chuck, oxtail, shank, shoulder, belly and ham hock. These forgotten cuts of meat are generally tastier and more nutritious. All they require is a little TLC — a low and slow cook.
4. Use organ meat & bones
Organ meat and bones are as cheap as chips, delicious and one of the best sources of nutrition. Look out for liver, heart, tongue, kidneys, sweetbreads, brain, tripe and beef bones. If you can't find these in your local supermarket or butcher, just ask them about it. They will most likely have them as off-cuts, and will be relieved to get rid of them!
5. Buy a whole chicken
A whole chicken is infinitely cheaper than individual cuts. You also gain extra chicken skin that is often lost in processing, AND a whole carcass that can be made into a bone broth. I find it's best to cook the whole chicken in one, and then use leftover meat for quick meals. Or, alternatively joint the the whole bird into breast, leg and wing, and cook separately. If you don't intend on making a bone broth right away, store the bones in the freezer.
6. Look at price per weight
This is especially true for purchasing meat and vegetables. At first glance, a large piece of meat or a big net of avocados may look more expensive, but if you look closely at the price per weight, these bigger purchases are often better value. To add to this, cooking a large piece of meat at once saves money and time in the long run.
Also watch out for prepackaged food sold at a set price ie. a packet of 2 courgettes for £2.50. These items appear better value, however they are often smaller and lighter, making it more expensive than loose food, sold per weight.
7. Buy and use a slow cooker or pressure cooker
A slow/pressure cooker will cook bone broth and cheaper cuts of meat as efficiently as possible. Plus, they take the hassle out of cooking and always produce memorable meals! No need to buy a new one, ask around and have a look on gumtree, shpock, ebay or an equivalent to find a second hand one.
8. Buy local, seasonal and frozen produce
Have a look online or download a chart to see what's in season. A bounty of seasonal produce are generally cheaper, and have more flavour and nutrition. Not to mention having less air miles and being better for the environment.
Look into meat and veg box subscriptions. These support local producers and can offer lower priced, perfectly-unperfect produce that don't make the cut for the supermarket.
Have a think about what foods are specifically grown in your area as they will generally be cheaper. Maybe you're lucky enough to live in avocado country!
Frozen meat and vegetables are also an economically source of produce, both in and out of season.
9. Buy in bulk
Don't let a promotion pass you by (I'm talking about low-carb, real food by the way, not a BOGOF on cookies!). Buy in bulk and store it — use your freezer as much as possible. You can either freeze produce straight away, or cook in bulk and then freeze. You'll normally find promotions when produce are in season or around the holidays, so keep your eyes peeled.
Have a look online, where you can buy larger quantities of store cupboard food and consider purchasing a 1/4, 1/2 or whole animal. This may seem extravagant and expensive at face value, but is often cheaper in the long run. You could include your community, family or a friend in bulk buying and share the cost if space and finances are limited.
10. Shop at the beginning or end of the day
Morning and evening is prime time to bag a bargain. This is normally when shops mark down fresh ingredients that are close to their use-by-date. Please don't take use-by-dates too seriously. Produce will normally extend well past their suggested use by date. Real live yoghurt and cheese can especially be eaten a couple of weeks or even a month past the use by date — sometimes they even get better with age (debatable perhaps?!)
As soon as you get home with your bounty of discounts, remove packaging from meat and vegetables. This will maintain freshness and prolong use by date.
11. Shop around
Don't restrict yourself to one supermarket. Shop around for the best value possible. Have a look online, at farmer's markets and fresh food shops like butchers, fishmongers, cheesemongers and greengrocers. A strong relationship with an independent food provider can earn you some meaty discounts.
Have a look online for any available discounts or coupons you can use in-store or online, and make the most of loyalty schemes.
12. Keep it simple
There's no need for 'speciality, keto food'. These products are often sold at a premium prices and nutritionally questionable. Stick to simple, real, whole foods.
Also limit low-carb baking as ingredients for this can be expensive. If you're in need of a dessert, try full fat, greek yoghurt with almond butter.
13. Use eggs
Eggs are incredibly impressive. They're affordable, versatile and a rich source of protein and fats. If you could have one ingredient on your shopping list, make it eggs!
14. Be prepared
Meal plan and create a shopping list to reduce waste and overspending.
Eating out will rack up your food bill very quickly. Be prepared with a pack lunch and eat at home as much as possible.
15. Grow your own
If you have the space, try to grow your own food. Even if you just have a windowsill, you can still cultivate a small herb garden. Herbs are expensive and spoil easily. Having herbs ready at your finger tips will brighten up meals and evolve your cooking.
Eating healthily and affordably takes patience and perseverance, but it's completely worth it. In the long run, eating a low-carb diet will save you money on medication and time waiting in the doctors surgery or hospital. No more excuses, start today and make your lifestyle budget friendly!
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