Most people tell me ” I cannot follow this eating plan (lifestyle) because it is too expensive”. When we first started out low carb journey, we also thought it was about eating bacon, egg, avocado and steak every single day. We thought we had to buy almond flour, coconut flour, olive oil, butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, all the specially labelled “banting friendly” products and only shop at healthy stores.
Let me make it clear – YOU DO NOT NEED ANY SPECIALITY SHOP FOR LOW CARB LIVING!! Many of my clients stay in small town with no health store, yet they have great results as the only eat whole foods. Nothing labelled “low carb” or “banting friendly” to derail them on their journey.
Today, I want to share some of my “low carb on a budget” tips that we use and I’m sure it can also help you!
Buy in bulk – Buying in bulk tends to work out cheaper than buying items already pre-packed. This way you can also ensure variety. We buy in bulk from one of our favourite farmers markets. You can prepare the vegetables the way you want them. Sweet potato can be made into chips or mash, pre-cooked and kept in the freezer for when it is needed. Cabbage can be shredded for fresh coleslaw or frozen to make fried cabbage later. Tomatoes and onions can be cooked down to make relish.
Plan ahead – Planning your meals in advance ensure you don’t buy unnecessary ingredients or food items that can go to waste. Shopping without a shopping list can also be very costly. You tend to buy the “nice to have” items instead of “need to have” items. Even after 4 years of low carb, we still make our grocery list before we go shopping.
Make your own – This must be one of my favourite things to do. Making your own sauces, flours and even cream cheese is so rewarding and budget friendly. We tend to make our own cream cheese , it is so easy and you can flavor it the way you want. We enjoy herbed or black pepper.
Skip the nuts – Nuts are expensive! There is no agreement here. Nuts are not essential for low carb and in many cases rather have the opposite effect – stalling weight loss or even gaining weight. Many people cannot limit themselves when it comes to snacking on nuts. If you are an athlete and need the extra carbs, nuts are great, but for majority of low carbers, nuts are just an added expense. Many people also tend to eat the wrong “nuts” like peanuts (it’s a legume and not a nut) or cashews. So best to stay clear of nuts and only use it perhaps as an emergency snack.
Stop snacking – I believe snacking is the downfall of humanity. Lets be honest, how many time did you eat a whole pack of crisps of slab of chocolate due to mindless snacking? It happens to all of us – even people who try to follow a healthy lifestyle. My biggest downfall for snacking must be nuts and biltong. If I am busy and start snacking, I just don’t stop until everything is finished. Its bad and I know it, but it happens. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the occasional snack, especially when visiting friends, but I try to ensure my snacks include some vegetables and fat. Cucumber slices with cream cheese and tuna, or perhaps crispy broccoli with blue cheese dip.
Eat nose to tale – this might be a difficult concept for many people. Growing up on a farm, nothing went to waste. Meat is so expensive and only buying to popular cuts of meat, will be expensive. Buying a whole animal (lamb/beef/pork) and just getting it cut into pieces. We did exactly that over the weekend, we bought 2 whole sheep. We used the meat to make our own wors, minced meat, bone broth and rendered a huge amount of fat. All to be used and saving us money in the next few months. The best part – we got to teach Little M about making her own allergy free wors.
I hope these tips will help you save money and stay on track with your lifestyle. We know from experience that low carb living can get expensive – if you just buy without planning – but you can actually save on your grocery bill if you just stick to the basics.
What is your money-saving tip??