In recent years, the keto diet has become a more popular diet than it has ever been, and has been taken up by millions of people all over the world.
However, people who are yet to start the diet and who aren’t familiar with a keto diet often wonder whether or not the diet costs any money, or if it’s free.
What many people don’t realize is that unlike diet programs such as Weight Watchers, the keto diet has no real organization or core membership program, and is simply a way of eating that anyone can take up.
There are plenty of free resources for learning more about the diet, what it entails, and the recipes you can use to keep your diet keto-friendly, so you shouldn’t need to spend any money on getting started.
Some people also assume that the cost of eating keto is expensive, and isn’t suitable for those who need to budget their grocery shops carefully, but this isn’t true either, as there are plenty of recipes for doing keto on a budget.
So, if you’re looking for all the information you need to know on how you can begin your keto journey for free, as well as some of the best free resources, and the budget keto meal recipes, then this guide is for you!
Does The Keto Diet Cost Anything?
Unlike other diet programs, the keto diet doesn’t require any form of membership or subscription, and there are no meetings or weigh-ins to attend on a regular basis, which not only means that you can begin your keto journey for free, but also that the keto diet is a much more flexible diet when compared to diet memberships with regular meetings.
Of course, there are some costs involved, which usually come in the form of one or two keto-based recipe books, which will help to provide you with all of the information you need to know about the diet, but also plenty of inspiration in order to get you cooking delicious, keto-friendly meals.
A lot of people tend to believe that following a keto diet is a much more expensive diet than the average diet, especially since a keto diet removes some of the inexpensive parts of the usual diet, such as rice, bread, potatoes, pasta, and other carbs.
This doesn’t mean that you’re going to begin spending money on expensive steak cuts, aged cheeses, and exotic vegetables though, and since the keto diet is moderate in protein, you won’t need to buy loads of meat or seafood either.
Plus all of the best keto-friendly veggies generally tend to be inexpensive too, things such as mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, and even onions are all staples of the keto diet, and can be bought frozen, fresh, or sometimes even canned.
As long as you do all of your cooking at home, then you’ll notice a significant difference in cost from buying store-made keto-friendly food, or from not ordering takeout all of the time.
The keto diet can realistically cost as much or as little as you want it to, as it’s all dependent on how much you’re willing to invest in educating yourself on keto, your budget for groceries, and whether or not you want to utilize apps or journals in order to keep a track of your macros.
So, the bottom line is that keto doesn’t necessarily mean expensive!
How To Begin Your Keto Journey
Beginning the keto (or ketogenic) diet can be slightly daunting, but we promise that it’s much easier than you might initially think, the first thing you should do is become familiar with the rules of the diet itself, which will help you to decide whether or not you want to start the diet at all.
The ketogenic diet is one that focuses on maximizing your intake of fats and proteins, while completely minimizing the number of carbohydrates you consume, and the simplest way to do this is to completely remove all of the carbs from your diet, and instead replace them with healthy, unsaturated fats.
Typically, most keto diet plans will state that you should try to consume somewhere between 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, which is much less than the usual amount of 900 to 1,300.
By keeping your carb intake this low, your body will become much more efficient at burning the fat in your body for energy, which is what introduces the state of “ketosis”.
The keto diet is not an easy diet to maintain, especially for those who have no experience cutting out carbohydrates before, as they make up a relatively large portion of our everyday diet, so you should do your research and consult a professional nutritionist before beginning to start the keto diet.
It’s also worth considering why exactly you want to begin the keto diet in the first place too, it’s a great weight-loss diet, but unless you maintain it, you’ll begin to gain weight again, so you’ll need to think carefully before you begin the diet.
How To Find Free Keto “How-To” Resources
One of the aspects of the keto diet that many people consider to be expensive is gathering the resources necessary to be able to follow it.
While it’s true that meal planners, macro trackers, recipe books, and other keto resources can often be kept behind expensive paywalls, there are plenty of ways to find free “How-to” Keto resources that will be able to help your keto journey.
The first step is to check places like Amazon, to see if there are any free resources available for you to read. These only tend to be free if you have an Amazon Kindle Membership account, but since this is a much cheaper way of accessing multiple resources at once, you’ll be able to access these resources from your phone or tablet with no hassle.
Some of the best examples of free keto resources on Amazon include Keto Diet and The Ketogenic Diet Beginner’s Guide, which will provide you with plenty of information on how to successfully start the keto diet.
Alternatively, if you want to read actual books without having to buy them, you can always try visiting your local library, where you’ll be able to take out some books on the keto diet for free, just be sure to remember to return them in time!
Social media can also be a powerful way to introduce yourself to the world of keto, and with there being plenty of keto bloggers and influencers, more often than not they’ll have created videos and blog posts providing information on the diet, which will make learning more about the diet easier.
You could also try finding keto community groups on platforms like Reddit or Facebook, where you can connect with other people who follow the diet, and who will likely be able to answer your questions about the diet, and help you in finding the resources you need.
YouTube is also particularly useful, as you’ll be able to find all sorts of informational videos, recipes, and other resources on there, all for free.
This is especially helpful if you don’t want to have to spend loads of money on multiple recipe books to inspire your cooking.
So, despite many people’s perception of keto as an expensive diet to follow, the reality is that it can be followed for just a fraction of the price that many people would expect!
Free Printable Keto Shopping Lists
If you’re new to the keto diet, then trying to put together a new shopping list to replace your old one can be frustrating and difficult, especially if you’re having to cook a whole load of new recipes at once, which is exactly why so many people try to find some printable keto shopping lists to make their keto grocery shopping experience much easier.
However, finding these printable shopping lists can be somewhat difficult too, especially if you’re unfamiliar with where to look for them.
One of the easiest ways to find printable keto shopping lists is simply by searching “Free keto friendly shopping list printable” into a search engine such as Google, and you should immediately be greeted with a variety of different shopping lists.
Pinterest is another useful resource in this situation, and will usually provide some great free printable shopping lists, which you’ll be able to use to get everything you need to cook delicious keto-friendly dishes.
Keto diet apps and websites also commonly feature printable shopping lists for free as a part of their resources too, and they’re also more likely to provide recipes that will work in conjunction with the groceries you buy.
When it comes to getting started with keto, a printable shopping list can always be especially helpful, but as time goes on and you discover new recipes, you’ll be able to curate your shopping lists.
Best Inexpensive Keto Foods
As previously mentioned, one of the reasons why so many people consider the keto diet to be such an expensive one is down to the small number of people online who seemingly only eat wagyu beef or chef-ordered keto dishes.
However, the keto diet is much more accessible than you might think, especially if you focus on buying these inexpensive keto-friendly foods and cooking all of your meals from scratch.
In terms of protein, some of the cheapest ways to pack your dishes with plenty of protein include eggs, chickens (you should try to buy whole chickens, which provide the best value for money), pork chops, and beef (ground beef is best for cost-effectiveness).
These will act as your sources of protein and will become the focal point of your dishes.
Cheese is also a common ingredient in many keto recipes, so it’s always a good idea to stock up on plenty of cheese when you do your grocery shopping.
Buying bulk is also a great way of saving money, and it doesn’t matter whether you decide to buy a block or a large bag of shredded cheese, you’ll be sure to use it up in no time.
You’ll also want to focus on including plenty of non-starchy vegetables throughout your dishes to help provide you with all of the nutrients you need.
To keep things cheap, you should always try to focus on buying the vegetables that are in season. Another tip for buying vegetables is to buy them frozen, which will allow them to keep for longer, so you’re less likely to throw them away or waste them.
Finally, dips make for great accompaniments to many of the dishes you’ll be cooking during your keto diet, while berry parfaits make for a great sweet treat to end your day without consuming large amounts of sugar or unhealthy fats.
For this then, you’ll need to ensure you have plenty of Greek Yogurt around, so try to get it in 1-quart tubs, which should mean that you have plenty around your house.
How To Save Money When Shopping For Keto Food
Although you can focus on inexpensive ingredients, there are more ways to go about saving money during your grocery shopping for a keto diet, and if you keep all of these tips and tricks in mind, you’ll be cutting your grocery shopping bill down in no time.
The first trick might seem slightly old school, but it’s always worth checking out any flyers you get from grocery stores or checking online to see if any sales are coming up that are worth buying.
If you notice something is on sale and it seems like a particularly good deal, then don’t be afraid to stock up, you can store it in your freezer to help keep it for longer.
This especially applies to meat and seafood, especially since this will typically be the most expensive aspect of your grocery shopping, so by bulk buying, you’ll be able to save money in the long run.
Keep an eye out for any multi-buy deals on things such as salad boxes or frozen berries, which are always worth having plenty of, as they’ll help to ensure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need, without having to spend too much on individual items.
Both nuts and nut butter can be some of the more expensive items on your shopping list, so they’re another item worth buying in bulk should you notice that there’s a particularly good deal on them.
If it’s possible, you should try to order all of your groceries online. Not only does this help you to keep a more active track of the cost of your shopping, but you’re also less likely to be susceptible to impulse buying, which can be a huge factor in the cost of your groceries.
It’s easy to slip into bad habits when shopping but hopefully with the help of this guide you’ll be able to not only keep the price of your groceries low but also help to ensure that you stick to the keto diet.
How To Track Macros For Keto Diet For Free
Keeping a track of the macros you consume when starting a keto diet is extremely important, and can be good at providing an insight into your progress.
If you’re looking to keep a track of your macros without spending anything, you can keep a notebook and write down everything you eat, along with the macronutrients it contains.
A much more convenient way is through the use of an app. While some of them do cost money, there are still some excellent free ones out there that are worth checking out, these include MyFitnessPal, MyPlate by Livestrong, and Lose It!
By using these apps, you’ll be able to keep a closer eye on the food you’re eating, which is crucial in the beginning, especially if you’re not making any progress, as it’ll usually help to indicate which food item is hindering your progress.
Free Keto Recipes
A simple search online will provide you with millions of free keto recipes, so you should have no issues finding some inspiration for your cooking. Your skill level is irrelevant too, as many of these recipes are super simple to follow too.
If you’re looking for a little bit of inspiration for your keto cooking, then why not try making some of these incredible recipes below?
- Keto Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry: Thinly slice beef and stir-fry it with broccoli, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce to create a flavorful and filling keto meal. Serve it over cauliflower rice for a low-carb alternative to traditional rice.
- Cheesy Keto Meatballs: Mix ground beef with almond flour, cheese, and spices to create delicious and cheesy meatballs. Bake them in the oven and serve them with a low-carb marinara sauce or roasted vegetables for a satisfying and keto-friendly dinner.
We hope that this guide has helped you to understand more about the keto diet and its cost.
With the sheer number of resources available for free online, you should be able to follow this diet without spending too much money, good luck!