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Cost of LCHF/keto?

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by Colin of Kent, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. Colin of Kent

    Colin of Kent Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I've been on a ketogenic diet for two weeks now, my wife for over a month.

    I keep a close eye on all our bills, and I was shocked that our groceries this month came to 35% more than normal.

    Now, I don't know if we've just been a bit careless with our spending, but I wondered whether other LCHF/keto peeps had similar experience and, if so, whether you've any advice?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 · Guru

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    People vary in their opinions on this. Personally, I find no difference. It depends what sort of foods you were buying previously. Now there are no cakes, biscuits, crisps, fast foods, ready meals etc etc. it ought to be cheaper.
     
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  3. archersuz

    archersuz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    To me it's worth every penny!
     
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  4. SueJB

    SueJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I've made some initial buys of that funny pyslium husk, erthyritol etc.. please excuse the spelling. Basically, my spending on food has generally decreased. OK celeriac is more expensive than spuds and I buy more cream but I eat less and so things seem to go further. The most important thing is I've reduced carbs. Yeyeyeyyeye!!!
     
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  5. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Can I ask what you are buying?

    We are a mixed household, with me eating v keto (currently zero carb) and Mr B eating from low to high carb at different times. So our shopping trollies vary quite a lot over time.

    Nowadays I tend to think that it is possible to eat very economically when keto, but it needs a major change in thinking. Out go the chicken breasts, lamb chops and salad bags. In come the minced beef, whole chickens and proper DIY seasonal veg prep. I constantly have to curb his attempts to buy that absurdly expensive prepared veg.

    When Mr B joins me in ketoing, I think we make significant savings. Belly pork, higher fat content minced meats... the cheaper veg, like cabbage and fresh spinach. I make my own mayonnaise a lot of the time (much cheaper), and make all my own sauces (often onion/tomato/garlic based).

    I do think that it is difficult to eat good quality keto food on a very low budget. But a low-medium budget can produce a great variety of fantastic food. :)
     
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  6. Mel dCP

    Mel dCP Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The food ktself can be more expensive but I eat so much less of it that it works out about the same.
     
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  7. miahara

    miahara Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It's certainly a bit harder when food shopping - no more just 'chuck it in the trolley'. We now have to think a bit more. But on balance our bills are about the same, we eat less 'junk' and ready-meals and make real food go further. With or without diabetes we are eating much healthier than we did as we are better aware of what goes into foods and into ourselves.
     
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  8. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Expert

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    Ok sad admission time.. I have a spreadsheet with all of our household spending from 2009 until today...
    In the bad old days of high carb etc the two of us spent more on food shopping (and eating out) than we do now. I think our food bill now with me on keto and hubs eating whatever he fancies is about the same as in 2012 so with inflation I guess that means we have reduced our bills!. We definitely go for quality over quantity these days and go to the butcher and fishmonger rather than the supermarket and we both only eat max twice per day. So for those just starting out it shouldn't cost you more long term.
     
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  9. 4ratbags

    4ratbags Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It can be more expensive to start with especially if you are baking but I find it my portion of the shopping is cheaper than buying everyone else's food in the household.
     
  10. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It is just wishful thinking that LCHF is cheaper. If you replace bread, potatoes, rice and pasta, all of which are very cheap with alternatives then it is bound to be dearer. The suggestion that you save money by not eating out, by not eating ready meals or by eating less are not comparing like with like. That money saving could be done irrespective of LCHF or keto.
     
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  11. Key_master_

    Key_master_ Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It’s is extremely cheaper, I am saving loads of money, I follow dr Bernstein’s approach so I’m lchp. Lchf for my skinny self seems mental and sounds very unnatural.

    I don’t buy anything like I used to, yes bread and pasta are cheaper but your still adding meat/protein sources. I eat out a lot less, don’t buy takeaways anymore, don’t go round home bargains buying so called safe savoury diabetic snacks.

    Meat plus veg (broccoli, cauli and other greens as cheap as chips if frozen) excuse the pun, haha!! my eveningmeals cost around £2-3 no food is ever wasted now either.

    Breakfast of an omelette with 2 eggs and a bit of cheese is seriously cheap.

    lidl roll, with meat or cheese for dinner with tiny bit of mixed salad costs around 75p.

    Now some of my dinners and meals before may have been slightly cheaper eating bran flakes, whole meal bread for dinner but I was having a packet of crisps, probiotic yogurt with breakfast. All that’s gone now. More savings.

    £30 a week for me to eat healthy, home cooked whole foods.
     
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  12. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Expert

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    That's a great point.. I never throw out meat.. it always gets eaten and as we buy a whole shedload less of veg and salad that always gets used too.
     
  13. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Think I've just fallen a little bit in love with you :happy: I too have a budget file that out does that of the chancellor - doesn't everyone?
     
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  14. Pinkorchid

    Pinkorchid Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Low carb can be more expensive as many here on limited budgets have said. Cutting out the high carby stuff like bread pasta potatoes rice and sweet stuff hardly makes shopping cheaper because they have to be replaced with something else and that is usually dearer stuff. Many members say they buy cheaper cuts of meat and make large stews and casseroles in a slow cooker which they freeze in portions Ok if you like that sort of thing but not everyone does and only if you have a butchers nearby to get it but even cheaper cuts can be to expensive on a lower income The price of food has risen quite a bit in the last year so bad news for people on fixed budgets. So yes I think low carb is definitely more expensive for those who have a limited budget for food
     
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  15. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    But that’s just it, we’re not comparing like with like. LCHF means less hunger = less food = lower costs.

    Definitely cheaper for me. Starchy carbs - rice, pasta, bread, potatoes - have been replaced with veg, which is not expensive. Eating LCHF means less hunger, so overall I eat less, eat out less often and don’t snack.

    I tend to go for high quality foods, and some pre-packed stuff but even doing that I am spending far less.

    Definitely needs more imagination on a tighter budget, but can be done.
     
  16. Key_master_

    Key_master_ Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I am on the strictest budget I’ve ever had in my life. I’m am low carb and can honestly say it’s a lot cheaper than the way I was eating before. The fact I can’t just grab a meal deal now and pack my own lunch which takes minutes saves me around £15 a week straight off.

    Same as evening meals, last nights cost a massive £2 maybe a bit less. Gammon steaks x2 I had been kayaking so was extra hungry. Broccoli and cauliflower with mint sauce and some home made no added sugar chocolate orange truffles.

    My veg portions and have 400g on my plate every evening if I’m not having a salad costs 34p. Pasta maybe cheaper but what nutritional benefits come from that. I’m now asked if I take vitamins as my levels where very high. Both b12 and folate. Never had that before eating all the carbs and rubbish I was before.

    Some people obviously aren’t as savvy as others when shopping.
     
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  17. Colin of Kent

    Colin of Kent Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the replies, really helpful.

    I have a spreadsheet for most major household expenditure. We're on a low income, so I have to run a tight ship.

    For example, I have always made a habit of stripping a roast chicken carcass for every spare scrap of meat before boiling for stock. We rarely eat out or get take-aways, never buy convenience foods. We've always favoured real food over pre-prepped. We hate waste, always have. The irony is, where I used to much the kids' leftovers, that now all goes in the bin.

    Here's my menu from Wednesday, which is fairly typical:

    breakfast of two scrambled eggs, 120g mushrooms, 40g butter, 40g spinach;
    Lunch: 120g romaine lettuce, tinned mackerel fillets in olive oil (125g tin), 20g pumpkin seeds, some celery, maybe a few pine nuts, maybe some avocado (we tend to buy them only if they're reduced); plus some pecans and macadamias to finish off.
    Dinner: Chachouka, 200g steamed broccoli, 15g butter; pudding: 84g raspberries (I know, out of season), 40ml double cream, 28g brazil nuts
    Evening snack: 28g cheddar, 18g chorizo, 38g sauerkraut.

    I think we can probably do more next month in the way of obtaining cheaper, fatty meats, but I'm not sure where else we can cut back. Maybe on the type of pure fats used, e.g. coconut oil / butter / lard / beef dripping -- any tips?

    I don't need to lose weight, so really need a full 2,500 kcal, 70% of which from fat.
     
  18. Colin of Kent

    Colin of Kent Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have routinely packed my own lunch for work my whole adult working life, and I'm still startled by how much other people seem to be willing to throw away on ready-made sandwiches and the like. It also carries the added benefit that I know exactly what I'm putting in my body!
     
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  19. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Re coconut oil which I use loads of, if you go to the ethnic section it tends to be remarkably cheaper!
    I think people should factor in the longer term costs of preventing illness too. What would happen if we had bouts of illness from diabetes and were unable to work? Hopefully we are doing this because we think it is worth the investment.....of time if not also money.
     
  20. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Hi Colin,

    I think when we start keto we go through quite a few adjustments over the first few months. And then probably end up tweaking things long after that. I used to eat breakfast, like you are doing. That fell by the wayside, and I never looked back. Snacks took a while to disappear too, but they went eventually. Nowadays, if I get peckish withing 6-8 hours of my last meal, I know that I am either bored, or didn't eat enough in that last meal. :D

    Don't try and force these changes, they will just happen over time. Although since you and I have different bodies and different lifestyles, then the changes that happen to you will be different from mine. But they will definitely happen. Things just evolve.

    Looking back I just can't believe how much I used to eat. 3 meals and at least one snack? How did I do it? Yet looking back at my food diary (well, back to the early days of this thread https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/what-have-you-eaten-today.75781/ ) I realise just how much things HAVE changed.

    Now I am on 2 meals a day, or one meal and a snack. I try and base my eating around fat, not protein. That probably sounds v odd to you, but it just kind of happened. And it works very well indeed. So a snack for me is 4 slices of chorizo (20+ slices for £1.70 at Tescos), microwaved til crispy, with a good heaped teasp of cream cheese (49p/250g for Tescos own brand) spread on each one. My meals are protein to hit my protein requirements, then fat til I feel full, then veg on top if necessary. My husband finds veg necessary. I am currently veg dodging following an upset tummy. lol.

    So basically I am saying, don't sweat it at the moment. Make sure you are eating enough protein and fat that you don't get hungry before your next meal (butter, grated cheese, mayo, fat on meat, olive oil on salads) and over time your appetite will naturally change.

    The mental adjustment going from low carb (protein, with moderate fat and lots of veg) to keto (protein, with lots of fat and some veg) is quite a leap, so give your mind and your body a few months to adjust.

    Hope that helps.
     
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