Low Carb diet, or more popularly known as Keto Diet, is a healthy diet that involves a low carbohydrate intake, which causes a metabolic state of the body known as ketosis.
In ketosis, the body becomes highly efficient in burning fat for energy. Besides, Low Carb/Keto Diet has several health benefits . But if you have already decided to search for a low carb budget meal plan, you probably know this.
Yes, it is possible to eat Keto for cheap and to prepare delicious and healthy recipes. Below you will find a meal plan that will you ideas about your cheap low carb meals. They range between $3 for breakfast and $9 for lunch and dinner, not including the leftovers.
How Can You Eat Low Carb for Cheap
Low carb diet includes a lot of meat, fish, eggs, nuts, high-fat dairy foods such as cheese, milk, yogurt, butter, heavy cream, nuts, seeds, and vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, leek, spinach, and other high-fiber vegetables.
As some of the foods can be pricey, you can plan your meals in accordance with the promotions in your favorite store to save money.
For example, always buy your meat when it is on discount. And buy more because the low carb meals are full of meat recipes. If the expiration date of the meat is fine, you can freeze it and prepare it later on.
The same goes pretty much for everything else. Shop for the week, not for less and not for more. Check all the products you need and buy the ones that are on promotion and which you can use in carb recipes.
Be flexible and creative, combine different ingredients to create news meals, and not let anything go to waste.
Once you know what recipes you want to prepare, you create a grocery list like the one at the end of this article. This will help you keep organized and not overspend.
You can shop in your local grocery store or order online. The good thing about ordering online is that you can create shopping lists which save a lot of time.
There are many low carb recipes that require slow cooking so before cooking something make sure you have the time for it. That’s because of the meat. Most of it requires to be grilled in the oven which takes around an hour, plus the time for preparation.
Over time, you will get used to cooking low carb food and will be able to seamlessly fit it in your schedule.
Don’t forget to enjoy your low carb diet. There are many easy low carb recipes that you can learn how to make them, just find the ones that suit you.
Cheap Low Carb Meal Plan
Breakfast: Omelet with spinach and tomatoes (If you make an individual omelet it will cost you $0.50 for three eggs, $1 for a whole box thawed spinach, and $0.50 for one tomato. There you have a $2 breakfast)
Lunch: Quinoa salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, mozzarella, avocados, and lime juice (one cup quinoa will cost you around $1,40 plus $0,70 for one cucumber, $0,50 for one tomato, $1,50 for an avocado, $0,20 for one lime, and $ 0,70 for a quarter of mozzarella. Your lunch will cost you $4,30 and you will have at least two portions)
Dinner: Chicken Drumsticks in lemon and garlic marinade ($3,40 for the chicken, $0,30 for 4 cloves garlic, $0,30 for one onion, $0,40 for two limes, and around $2 for the rest of the spices. There you go, with $7 you will have a diner for six. You can always save the leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch or diner)
Breakfast: Strawberry Keto Milkshake (2,5 oz strawberries will cost you between $1 to $3, so make sure you arrange your meal plan in accordance to the promotions in your store; $2,30 for a whole pack of almond milk, although for this milkshake you need only half a glass; $2 for a can of coconut milk of which you need only a quarter. You can use the leftovers of the leftover ingredients to make another keto milkshake for the next day)
Lunch: Tuna Salad with White Beans (this recipe will cost you $2,30: $0,90 for a can of beans, $0,90 for a canned tuna in water, $0,20 for 2 green onions, plus $0,30 if we calculate salt, pepper, olive oil, and spices)
Dinner: Ground Beef with Sliced Bell Peppers (1/2 lb of ground beef will cost you $3,90, 3 green onions will cost you $0,20, 3 bell peppers will be $2,80, plus $0,20 for two cloves of garlic, and around $1 for additional spices and ingredients you can add, depending on the recipe. The total amount of your dinner for four is between $7 and $8)
Breakfast: Avocado Toasts with cheese and tomatoes ($1,50 for the avocado, $0,50 for one tomato, and $1 for the bread. For $3 you are going to have delicious low carb meal to start the day)
Lunch: Creamy Dijon Chicken (you will need a Dijon mustard which depending on the brand, regularly costs $2 or less for 12 oz, $3,50 for a whole package of half-and-half cream of which you need only 1/2 cup, $7 for 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, and the rest of the ingredients which is spices, oil, and butter in small quantities would cost you no more than $1 at the most. So, you will need around $14 to prepare this meal, but the recipe is for four people, which means that you can share it, or keep the leftovers for the next day. Also, you will have the mustard and the cream to prepare this delicious meal again, or to cook some other low carbs recipe)
Dinner: Lemon Garlic Shrimp (frozen shrimps cost between $3 and $5 depending on the brand. But since they are frozen, you don’t need a high-quality brand, $0,30 for three cloves of garlic, and $0,60 for two lemons, plus $0,50 for the costs for spices, oil, and butter)
Or if you feel a bit full from the heavy lunch, you can make yourself some vegetarian low carb recipe such as Ratatouille ($1,40 for two medium eggplants, $0,30 for one onion, $1,90 for two bell peppers, you will need 1/2 of dry white wine and you certainly won’t need an expensive one, $1 for cherry tomatoes, and let’s roughly say $2 more, for the spices, butter, tomato paste, and in case if you want to add something)
Breakfast: Classic bacon and eggs ($0,50 for three eggs, $2,50 for an eight-slices package of bacon. There you have tasty, low carb breakfast)
Lunch: Corned Beef with Cabbage (you can find a corned beef for $2 or less on promotion, $1,50 for a medium green cabbage, $2 for a whole package of pickling spices, 1/2 cup of Dijon mustard which you already have, $1 for 25 oz carrots of which you will need only two, $0,70 for a package of fresh parsley, and around $1,50 for all the rest ingredients which you pretty much need in almost all meals)
Dinner: Low Carb Cauliflower Bake ($1 for a large cauliflower head, $1,50 for mozzarella cheese, $1,50 for the cheddar cheese, $1 for a whole can of sour cream of which you will need only one cup, $0,30 for one onion, $2 for 7 oz of bacon, plus Italian Herb Mix and Garlic Powder)
Or, you can prepare Cheesy Cauliflower Bread ($1 for a large cauliflower head, $0,30 for two eggs, $1,50 for mozzarella cheese, $0,20 for two cloves of garlic, $1 for Parmesan cheese, $0,70 for a package of fresh parsley, plus the expenses for the regular spices and oils)
There is a vegetarian option for every low carb meal. Even if you are not a vegetarian, but you need a day off of meat, there are numerous tasty solutions.
Breakfast: Low Carb Keto Pancakes with Butter, Whipped Cream, or Syrup (pancakes are certainly not included in the low carb diet, but there are low carb recipes for low carb pancakes. The secret is batter consisted of eggs and cheese. You can add also almond, coconut, or all-purpose flour or not at all. So, you will need $0,35 for two eggs, $1 for 4 oz cream cheese, and the rest is butter, salt, baking powder, and syrup, or whatever you prefer)
Lunch: Low Carb Broccoli Salad ($1,50 for three broccoli heads, 1,50 for cheddar cheese, $2,50 for an eight-slices package of bacon of which you will need only three, $0,30 for one red onion of which you will need only 1/4, $1,30 for 3,5 oz of almonds, plus $1 for the mayonnaise, vinegar, and spices)
Dinner: Low Carb Meatballs ( $3,90 for a 1/2 lb of ground beef, $0,20 for one large egg, you will need 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and 1/2 of Mozzarella cheese which you already have, and around $0,50 for the oil, spices and other ingredients depending on the recipe you chose)
Breakfast: Peanut Butter Low Carb Smoothie (you will need $3 for a whole jar of peanut butter which you can enjoy in more recipes with low carbs, but for this one, you will need only one tablespoon. $1,50 for one avocado of which you will need only a half, $1,50 for almond milk which is also a common ingredient in a lot of low carbs recipes. You will also need other ingredients, depending on which recipe you chose, but they won’t cost you more than $1.)
Lunch: Poached Cod in Tomato Sauce ($4 for two boneless cod fillets and $0,80 for a jar of salsa. Those are the basic ingredients, while the rest depends on the recipe)
Dinner: Guacamole with Low Carb Tortilla Chips ($4,50 for three avocados, $0,20 for one lime, $0,30 for one onion, and around $1 for two tomatoes, $1 for a package of tortilla chips, and around $0,50 for cilantro, garlic, and spices)
Make Sunday the day where you get your meals for free. Use all the ingredients that you have left, especially meat and veggies, before you do your shopping for the following week. Also, there’s nothing more budget-friendly than enjoying leftovers. Combine them with something fresh. Chose recipes in which you can use everything that expires fast.
Breakfast: Frittata with leek and feta cheese, or with mushrooms, or with bell peppers and cheese, or with tomatoes and spinach, or with whatever you want or whatever you have left in the fridge.
Lunch: If there are no leftovers from the meals, then you can experiment with new low carb recipes with the ingredients you have left. If you have left a little bit of broccoli, cauliflower, and chicken, you can cut them in small pieces, fry a bit of onion, put a bit of butter, and bake them in the oven. If you have some cheese left it will make the meal delicious. Or, find a recipe where all you need is what you already have.
Dinner: The same goes for dinner. There are many budget-friendly, easy low carb recipes that you can find on the internet. And they often include common ingredients which can be replaced with different ones.
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Groceries List for Budget-Friendly Low Carb Recipes
- Eggs (lots of them as low carb diet includes many meals with only eggs or recipes that include eggs)
- Fish and Seafood (If you are aiming to save money, don’t hesitate to buy frozen fish or seafood)
- Chicken (Chicken Drumsticks, Chicken Breast, Chicken, Chicken, Chicken! Low carb diet means a lot of Chicken recipes)
- Olive Oil
- Heavy-Cream products
- Ground Beef
- Onions (You will need onions for almost all meals. They also last longer, so you won’t be wrong if you buy more)
- Avocados (as many as you can afford, especially if they are on promotion)
- Tomatoes (2-4 lbs)
- Other Veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, spinach)
- Cheese (all that you can find on promotion and all that you can eat. It is a common ingredient in almost all low carb recipes)
- Canned Tuna (it is low carb and there are many easy and fast-to-make recipes)
- Coffee or Tea, whatever you prefer.
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