Are you wanting to lose some weight? We’re on Part 4 of our Keto series and today we’re going to focus on our Shopping Day for Keto on a Budget. We’ve already done our planning and checking to see what we can already put together from the pantry and freezer as well as a few easy budget meals that fit the Keto lifestyle. Now we lace up our shoes and hit the road!
Other posts in this series:
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See What is on Sale Already
Now, if we were still in 1983 I’d tell you to gather your sale papers.
I’ll resist doing that.
Go to your local supermarket’s websites and check their sale papers. Don’t forget that you may have those Save-A-Lot types that you don’t normally frequent. Big Lots has some canned goods these days. Our local Dollar General just put in a freezer section and some of our Dollar Tree stores are getting in on the action too!
Here’s a tip: Don’t spread your net too wide here. Stick to stores in the same area. What’s the point in trying to save $1 if you have to drive 40 miles out of your way to do it? Factor in your fuel costs. Remember we’re doing Keto on a budget – shopping in every store within a 20-mile radius will wear you out before you ever start. If it’s so hard to find what you need you are more apt to quit.
Make your list of what you’re planning to have (those slots with a different color ink!) but also have contingency plans. If you make a pot of soup, freeze some of it so you don’t get caught short.
Tip: There is no shame in making a quick omelet for dinner if you’re short on time – or short on motivation. Plans are not chiseled in stone.
Make your list of where you’re shopping and what you’re getting at each store. Make note, too, of the price you’re seeing in the sales. If you have just a couple of items on your list that are cheaper at another store you can make the decision on the fly if there is an unadvertised special on that product or you can live with the price you’re seeing to save some time by skipping the other store.
And don’t forget to eat before you go shopping – I know you’ve heard that a million times. I’ve found that going shopping hungry causes chocolate junk to jump into my cart when I turn my back. Then, somehow, it ends up in the front beside me and the passenger’s seat looks like a pack of wolves devoured Willy Wonka before I ever get home. Truly, one day I saw my neighbor when I got out of the car. He mouth kept twitching like she had a tic or something. When I went to the bathroom an hour later I realized I had chocolate smeared all over my face like I’d slept in it. Don’t do that.
Tips for Shopping Day for Keto on a Budget Success Before We Get to the Store
We’re getting ready to head to the stores so we’ll have just a few final tips before we head out the door.
- Tip: Don’t plan to jump right into Keto as soon as you get home from the store. I would give it two days – shopping day and the next – before you jump into a major prep. If you want to do prep on Sunday, plan to shop Thursday or Friday.
- Tip: Some stores have specials if you use their app. If they do, make sure you have it downloaded and set up your account before you go to that store!
- Tip: Join Ibotta – check offers, shop, scan receipt and get cash! Checkout 51 is another great program. They have offers on real food as well as offers on other things you may need – diapers etc. They are free to sign up and then you can see the offers they have.
- Tip: Don’t forget your store loyalty cards! Some stores give cash off for using it.
- Tip: I’m not advocating extreme couponing here, but if you have a coupon for something you NEED all means USE IT.
- Tip: Worried you may buy too much? Walmart’s curbside service can help with that! It’s free and they don’t actually charge your card until you get to the store for pick-up. So, if you order 3 lbs of meat but the package you get is only 2.95 lbs the charge is for 2.95 lbs. When you complete your order online there is only a hold placed on your card, not the amount of the order. That way they can account for shortages and substitutions. Extra tip: Make sure you check the box if you will not accept a substitution on a product! Be sure you check each supermarket’s curbside rules – one of my stores charges $4.95 per order plus a few cents more on most items. If the charge for the convenience doesn’t affect your budget, have at it. You’re a grownup.
- Tip: If you are going to more than one store, take a cooler for your perishables.
- Tip: Buy your produce as close to the ground as possible. You’ll get more bang for your buck by buying a head of lettuce or cauliflower than buying it triple washed and bagged.
- Tip: If you’re single (or a couple) buy some of your vegetables frozen. There are vegetables that I will eat and The Commodore won’t. I try to have as little waste as possible.
- Tip: Check with your stores and find out which day and time they discount meats. Go EARLY that day for great deals.
- Tip: Buy herb plants for your windowsill. Having them available at home will save money (one plant costs about the same as a bunch of fresh herbs at the store) and fresh herbs have such great flavor. They make food look so appetizing – and presentation is everything!
- Tip: Buy cheese in blocks. It’s less expensive. And the biggie: the bagged shredded cheese contains an anti-clumping starch that contains carbs. Hidden carbs!
- Tip: Buy the 80/20 or fattier hamburger in the tube. it’s cheaper and you won’t have to add more fat to compensate for the lean meat. Plus it has more flavor.
- Also: Don’t forget your reusable bags. Some stores charge for bags.
- Weigh – when you are buying pre-bagged fresh vegetables that are also sold individually, weigh the bags. Sometimes a 3 lb bag may way above or below.
- Consider buying just what fresh produce you need rather than buying those bags. If buying a bag means some will go bad, the bag is only good for the store and not for your wallet.
Don’t Forget Bulk Shopping
Bulk shopping is a great idea when you have a few extra dollars to spend and you are brutal with yourself. Ignore the end caps of the aisles and concentrate on the loss leaders. You know what they are, right? They’re the items that the store will sell below cost just to get you in the store. Only buy them if they are on your diet plan, or else you’re just shooting yourself in the foot.
Buying loss leaders is great if you can stick them in the freezer.
- Low-carb flours
You get my drift.
I especially love buying my meats from Zaycon – but they may be defunct now – I’ll update this when I know more. Sure it’s 40 lbs of meat and I have to have a plan in place when I bring it home. I’m good with that because it’s great quality PLUS it’s cheaper than the grocery store. They have bacon. Tasty beautiful bacon.
If you have a membership to Costco, Sams Club, or BJ’s Warehouse you probably already know the wonderment of bulk shopping. It’s not JUST for toilet paper anymore!
Go to Your Stores
My advice here: Don’t start eating Keto on the first day of your first shopping trip.
Give yourself a day to or two to prepare your food for the week.
There really isn’t a lot to say about shopping.
You have your list. That’s your plan. Follow your plan. Be strong.
That’s what I got.
Come Home and Stash Your … Stash
The first thing you want to do is put it all away. Leave it there unless you’re super-motivated to do the next step.
I am happy you’re motivated.
But don’t rush it.
Put it away and sit down to create your next plan – get it prepped for success.
Your next plan is: Part 5 – Get it all prepped
So you’re an over-achiever? Head over to the next step!
Other posts in this series:
When your budget can handle it, here are a few cookbooks to make it more interesting: