How to low carb meal prep with less then $50 a week

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If you have ever fully committed to a new diet plan, you will know that it can be pricey – and this is especially the case with keto.

With the need for bucket loads of avocado, nuts, seeds, fresh vegetables and protein pushing the weekly grocery bill through the roof, it can leave you out of pocket pretty quickly.

So, if you are trying to eat keto while sticking to a budget, here are the easy ways to eat high fat at minimal cost.

1. Know you cheaper high-fat foods

While avocado, fresh salmon, and nuts and seeds can be expensive, there are also a number of cheaper alternatives that can easily be substituted in for these foods.

Tinned oily fish including sardines and mackerel will save you plenty, as will 100 per cent nut spreads in place of fresh nuts while olive oil and olives can be much cheaper alternatives to avocado while offering a very similar fat profile.

2. Go for frozen vegetables

Non starchy vegetables including leaves, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks and onions can all add plenty of bulk and nutrients into a keto diet without adding a significant amount of carbohydrates.

On a seasonal basis, these vegetables can be very expensive, especially when you are eating your way through a lot of them. Frozen varieties are not only much cheaper, but mean you always have a supply on hand to add into your meals for a fraction of the price.

It is a common misconception that frozen vegetables have less nutrients than fresh vegetables, but the truth is that they will retain their nutrients as long as they are not overcooked, so always steam or slow cook your veggies.

3. Buy in bulk

Often when we are busy we pick up meals on the run or shop for one night’s meal at a time, which can really increase the grocery bill as we purchase individual ingredients and protein portions.

On the other hand, if you spend some time meal planning each week and purchase expensive proteins such as salmon, lean mince and vegetables in bulk per kilo or two, you will save a lot of money. For example, a packet of individual salmon portions or 250g clocks in at almost $12 compared to a bulk pack of 1kg of frozen salmon pieces, which can cost as little as $20-$25.

4. Go to the markets

If you do have the time, you can save some serious coin if you take time to head out to the produce markets regularly.

Low carb foods – including berries, nuts and fresh vegetables – can be purchased at a fraction of the price they are sold in supermarkets, and when you buy in bulk it naturally encourages you to plan your meals and snacks in advance, helping you to adhere to your keto goals.

5. Make your own snacks

If you have a preference for bars, bites, muffins and ball type snacks, making your own is a much more cost effective way to enjoy some of these snacks as part of your daily diet.

A single keto bar or snack can cost as much as $5 per serve compared to buying some nuts or nut spread, oils, seeds and protein powder, which you can use on several occasions to make bulk serves of your favourite keto snack.

While this does take some extra time and planning, the cost of snack per serve will be much lower than purchasing individual snacks on the run.