Why Are Keto Foods So Expensive?

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There is a simple answer to why keto foods are so expensive. Carbs are one of the cheapest foods to purchase, and protein and fresh vegetables are much more costly

So, when you think about it, on a keto diet, you’re cutting out the cheapest part of your grocery shop by skipping out on items such as potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread and replacing them with goods like red meat, avocado, kale, poultry, and fish, all of which come with a much higher price tag. 

If you’re on a tight budget and looking for a successful weight loss plan, keto could be tricky for you to stick to. 

Throughout this guide, we will cover why keto is so expensive and investigate how you can get the most for your money on a keto diet and make it work on a budget. 

What to Eat on Keto

keto food

The primary reason why the keto diet is so expensive all boils down to the type of foods that you’re required to eat. 

Say goodbye to cheap packs of cookies, bags of pasta, and jacket potatoes, and get ready to replace them with high-quality, fresh produce. 

You can take a look at what exactly you’ll be eating on your keto diet with this list of 8 recommended keto foods, but let me give you a brief idea. 

Your keto diet will mainly focus on high-protein foods, healthy fats, low carbs, and sugar. When I say low, I mean 20g–50g per person a day of carbohydrates, which isn’t much when you think there can be between 17g and 38g of carbs in a single potato.

Here’s a list of some of the items you should be adding to your shopping basket for a keto diet:

  • Oily fish such as salmon and mackerel
  • Turkey/Chicken
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Avocado
  • Olive Oil
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Coconut Oil
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Berries 
  • Butter
  • Cream

Although some people might think the keto diet is overly restrictive regarding food choices, there are actually some really delicious recipes that you can easily bring into your weekly menu at home. 

For example, this keto cauliflower and pistachio cheesy bake recipe is a great dish that the whole family can tuck into. 

Keto Snacks

One thing people struggle with on a keto diet, especially those on a budget, is snacks. Some snacks are explicitly designed for people following keto; however, they come with quite a hefty price tag. 

There is a straightforward reason why keto snacks are so expensive, and it’s all down to the ingredients. Manufacturers are unable to bulk out these kinds of treats with cheap carbohydrates, which, unfortunately for you, means you have to pay a higher price. 

However, you can make many easy recipes at home in advance to snack on later, such as these keto scotch eggs

How to Do Keto on a Budget

If you’re moving forward with the idea of a keto plan but worried about breaking the bank, there is some good news: fortunately for you, we’ve put together a list of ways to make keto on a budget completely realistic and possible. 

Let’s take a look.

Buy Frozen

Buying fresh fruit and vegetables from local greengrocers is a luxury. Although we promote the support of small businesses when you’re trying to do keto on a budget, it’s just not always possible. 

Go shopping and stock up on frozen and canned foods like green beans, broccoli, berries, and other fruits and vegetables. You may save money, and they will last much longer.

Meal Prep

There are some companies that will provide you with ready-made keto meals, but they also come with a high price tag. 

Instead, set aside a day to bulk prep two or three meals and pop them in the freezer in single portions; this way, you can buy ingredients in bulk, keeping the cost down and saving yourself time throughout the week.

Some examples of this could be roasting a chicken or a joint of beef at the start of the week rather than buying smaller packs or making something that freezes well, such as a delicious cheeseburger casserole

Head for The Bargain Basket

You can’t beat a bargain at the best of times, but on a keto diet, every penny counts. So be sure to check out the bargain baskets and sales racks in stores to see if you can pick up any great deals. 

Don’t forget that you can always freeze items with a short date or use fresh vegetables to make a filling and tasty soup or sauce that can be popped into the fridge for later in the week. 

Also, items with short dates, such as nuts, seeds, and oils, don’t perish, so if you ever catch those in the sale, stock up. 

Choose Cheaper Protein

Protein doesn’t necessarily have to come from high-priced items such as chicken breast and steak. Instead, load your shopping cart with foods such as eggs, frozen minced meat, chicken thighs, and ham. They offer the same flavor and protein content without adding dollars to your weekly budget. 


Whether you’re starting your keto journey alone or getting the whole family involved, the cost can be daunting. Although this is perfectly justified due to the high quality of the foods required, it doesn’t make it any more appealing if you’re on a tight budget. 

Hopefully, these handy tips have opened your eyes to a more affordable keto world and given you some food for thought about introducing this popular diet into your life.

The Author

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John has been learning about and experimenting with low carbohydrate diets since the around 2006. He has successfully used the keto diet to lose over significant amounts of weight in the past and currently follows a low carb diet for a variety of reasons including general health, weight management, and managing mood levels.

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