Begin on a budget doesn’t mean you have to eat like a starving college student, even if you ARE a starving college student.

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Being on a budget can be rough. Being on a super tight budget because, well, we are still struggling with a pandemic, decades of economic suppression of the working class, stupid high student loans, everything is going up except for our wages… ok, I’ll stop my rant before I offend anyone more than I already have :). Being on a budget and doing keto as a lifestyle can be daunting, seems like everything is so damn expensive :(. If you step back and look at it from a purely economic perspective, you can see how the standard Western Diet can be attractive in the short-term. Bag of Tyson chicken nuggies are under $10, toss in some McCain fries and you can feed yourself dinner all week for under $15 – that’s about 1.5lbs of almond flour that will last a few recipes. Don’t even get me started on the prices of ribeye, strip, or porterhouse. And what happened to the price of chicken breasts? Jiminy crickets!! $6.99 for one breast??? ARE THEY NUTS? So, what are you to do if you want to eat healthy but still be able to pay your rent? Have no fear, Hobbit is here.

So, let’s break this down. For less than a value meal at McDumpies, you can make a delicious, healthy, INEXPENSIVE meal that will fill you until your next feeding and let you smile because not only did you eat healthy, you saved $$.

1/4lb 80% lean burger, this morning I got it for 2.99\lb so we are looking at ~$0.75 for the meat.
2 slices of keto-safe bread. This is a grey area. You can make a variety of recipes for this, costing anywhere from $2-3 a loaf for my recipe so maybe $0.20-.30 per slice, use one of the other recipes out there (though ones like Miracle bread could set you back $1 a slice), or get a loaf of Nature’s Own Keto bread (does contain wheat) for about the same per slice as my bread. Let’s go cheap. $0.40 for the bread. Oh, and I like to toast mine in the skillet. We don’t own a toaster. I hate toasters. I like to butter my bread then toast it so it is nice and crisp, but still buttery while keeping the inside side (is that a thing??) soft. Ok, so another $0.20 for the butter.
2oz Gouda cheese. I got Great Value from Walmart, $2.35\lb so $0.30 for cheese.
Onion: Do we need to count this? Yes we do. Money is money. 1 medium yellow onion, $0.59. a few slices off it $0.05.
Butter to brown the onions: 2tbsp so about another $0.20.
What are we up to in cost so far?
$1.90. That’s almost value menu price.
Oh, and I thought the paper plates was a nice touch :). We are in the process of moving and who wants to do dishes?

Now the rice.
1/2 bag Great Value riced cauliflower. Yeh, it’s even cheaper than making your own. $2.39 a bag so $1.20 a serving.
More buttah. $0.20
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms. $1.99 a box that is about 2 cups. $0.50.
A few diced onions, $0.05
1 tsp of my favorite go-to seasoning, Better than Bouillon veggie flavor. $2.69 a jar, let’s call it $0.40.

2tbsp water. Free if you have a well. Fraction of cents if you are on public water. $100,000 if you are using bottled water. Really, have you seen the prices of bottled water? And why is is designer? Is it made by Chanel? Does it have gold flakes in it? Sheeeshhhh.
Anyway, follow my Fried Rice recipe but at the end add the bouillon instead of the soy sauce. Toss in any scraps you don’t want to throw away but aren’t enough to make anything else with. I put in a bit of celery and some almost-gone-bad-but-not-quite carrot bits. I’m going to call that free 🙂
Cost: $1.85

Put it all together and that is $3.55 for a meal. That’s $0.14 (before tax) less than just a single, no sides, no drink, no apple pie, just a plain slightly dry McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with cheese. Tastes better. Feels better. IS BETTER.

Do a variation of this, mix it up with different seasonings, cheeses, maybe do it Salisbury Steak-ish one night, traditional burger another, swap the beef for a chicken thigh or Italian Sausage, Brauts, liver (love me some offal… mmmm… did you know that liver has more vitamin A than carrots, tons of iron, riboflavin, folate, B12, coper, and choline, making it more nutritious than ANY VEGGIE, and dirt freaking cheap?).

$4 a day for dinner. That’s $28 a week, or the price of 1lb of ribeye. Can’t beat that with a stick. You can eat healthy and maintain your mental health by not stressing over the food budget while on keto. You’ve got this.

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1 Comment

  1. Just fab. I love your posts and recipes!! Not to mention your practical, good-sense approach.

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