Low Carb Meals Cheaply - Any Suggestions

In this day of age where we are money conscious and penny pinching, do you have ideas on how to prepare low carb meals cheaply. What are your favourite low carb menu suggestions? Any idea how to curb the hanger pangs when going low carb?

Hey Michael,

For me it is finding the right amount of fat to incorporate into my meals Michael so I have satiety after meals. I find that helps the “hanger pangs” the most for me. I always have a greens in my menu and and a protein. I could go on and on about what to eat but there is enough out there.

Lastly I really watch for the “Chinese Restaurant Effect” Dr Bernstein talks about in his books. That is overeating on a low carb meals resulting in a spike in your numbers after meals. I am sure others can give you ideas here too. Take care and good luck!

Thanks Pauly.
Yea, carbs are a cheap food source.
Just wondering how to do the low carb thing cheaply (i.e buying in bulk etc).
I like your fat/low carb combo idea.
But the trick is not to ‘overdo’ and add the right amount of fat (esp not overdoing saturated/trans fats).
I mean it must be a fine art in not ‘overdoing it’.

I actually found that I was not hungry on low carb. I always like to recommend that when adapting to a low carb diet, you just ignore calorie restriction. Eat as much as you want. If you are adhering to a truly low carb diet (< 100 g carbs per day and preferably < 50 g/day), then calories won’t matter.

If you are hungry, then eat a snack. I like cottage cheese, I’ll have a cup with Sriracha sauce on it. Nuts are good, I buy huge bags of almonds at costco.

As to meals, the key to saving money is preparing it yourself. Trust me on this. Want to eat like a king on a budget, then learn to be a good cook. I like Dana Carpenter as a low carb recipe author. If you search here, you will find lots of recipes and links to good recipe sites on the web. I buy lots of off cuts of meat that I think actually taste the best, but are not “popular.” Chicken thighs, larger cuts of meat/roasts, cuts of pork, sausages and I eat huge amounts of fish. Shop at international markets for better prices on meat, seafood and veggies.

My big choice these days when eating out is at Subway. They are really good about providing comprehensive nutritional information handouts, a decent variety and you can usually get out of there for ~$6.00. For a person with DM, that is not a bad combination when circumstances compel you to eat out on occasion.

I think what will come out of this line of discussion is yep, how to keep away from REFINED CARBS and how to still enjoy your dining without doing the budget in.
Seems that Diabetes is the polar opposite of enjoying cheap tasty food !!!

But as we know, its alot about lifestyle and changing our eating habits…

I heard a sad forecast today (I hope they got it wrong). They predict 1/3 born in the US in the year 2000 will get diabetes in their lifetime and 1/2 hispanic born in the US in the year 2000 will get diabetes. As I said I hope they got this one wrong.

So I think eating habits need to change real quick. so back to my original question grrr: how to do low carb, cheaply, without going hungry ???

I eat eggs. Lots and lots of eggs.

I eat them scrambled, fried or hard boiled in the morning and I make a coconut cake with the main ingredient being eggs. Then I eat a lot of quiche – either crustless or with a thin crust made from low carb flour.

The high protein content of eggs makes them filling enough that I don’t crave as many fast acting carbs. But there is just no getting rid of my chocolate cravings!!!

LOTS of good low carb ideas are available here.

You won’t be hungry with sufficient protein & fat. I’ve been eating low carb for 1.5 years & am never hungry.

Most low carb fresh vegetables are relatively inexpensive.

Stew meat is good. Buy it on sale & freeze it. You can make stews & soups, or stir fry it. I make low carb soups. Lots of low carb recipes using ground beef also. You don’t have to live on just hamburgers. Cheaper cuts of beef can be marinated to improve taste & tenderness.

Buy a whole chicken, roast it or & cut it up yourself, or use thighs that are cheaper than boned breasts.

Don’t buy prepared foods. They’re also too high in carbs & loaded with chemicals.

I buy nuts in bulk. Cheese is a budget killer, but oh well. Eggs are a good protein source. Peanut butter isn’t expensive & stay away from the brands with added sugar & fat.

Here are some great low carb recipes sites:

Linda’s Low Carb Menus & Recipes http://genaw.com/lowcarb/index.html
The Low Carb Cafe www.lowcarbcafe.com
Low Carb Luxury http://www.lowcarbluxury.com/index.html
Simply Recipes http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/low_carb/
Low Carb Eating http://lowcarbeating.com/

Hi Kristin,

To satisfy a sweet tooth try cocoa powder, sweetener (?), skim milk, cinammon, ginger, muesli (low fat), and wheat bran (crunchy). mmmm

As Kristin said, “EGGS.” Eggs with salsa, cheese, veggies…

I am on a low carb diet for a project I am running on my blog called the diabetes management solutions and as part of the project, I have adopted a low carb diet (less that 50grams a day) for starters I am always full because I eat six meals a day and still maintain a 1500-1800 calorie intake, the trick is to eat every 3 hours that way you are always full and since you are not eating carbs, your sugars do not spike but stay moderate.

I get most of my shopping done at Aldi’s and Save A Lot if you have these in your area, they are a cheaper alternative to the other grocery stores and I would suggest learning to cook, that way you can buy stuff in bulk, cook it and freeze it or just accept that you can have the same piece of chicken meal for lunch and dinner, do left overs. I have chronicled what I eat everyday as part of the project and if you are interested, you can check it out and maybe it will help you map out your own diet choices.
thanks Ronn
diabetes management solutions

Wow! Great topic! I’m like many of you, using cheaper cuts of meat, preparing them at home. I rarely eat out, when I do, I feel cheated as I think my food is better (and healthier). I always have cottage cheese in the fridge for those snack attacks, cheese (I LOVE CHEESE), peanut butter. People used to look at me, as I tend to nibble alot, and wondered about why I am not overweight (well - according to my GP I am - by 20 lbs - but frankly - I’m happy - don’t want to buy new clothing - that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). As usual Gerri has got some great links (she’s helped me in the past).

I’ve also never counted calories. I tend to eat because of being hungry, tho’ I do break down on ocassion (holidays are bad) and overdue on the carbs as “regular” folks like those types of food. I did teach a few friends over the holidays about good carbs / bad carbs - as well as taking their BG’s - so they’ve become better educated about reading food labels (I only got this way since going on the pump - 40 years after being diagnosed with diabetes - yikeroos).

Now I’m hungry, it’s snacky time . Off to make up an espresso , with 15% cream (gotta make my clothing keep on fitting me).

RE: Poor Diabetic

I added your Blog http://thepoordiabetic.com/diabetes-management-solutions/

to My Face book : http://www.facebook.com/MichealHutch?ref=profile

For others, this is an interesting excerpt from "Poor Diabetics Blog:
The ultimate goals

  1. To get the BG’s under control (lower my A1C levels to under 7%
  2. To loose 20-25 pounds (current weight is 210 pounds and I am 5′9″
  3. Expand the culinary skills
  4. Healthier lifestyle overall

The diabetes management solutions project is a 30 day program which is meant to jump start your metabolism, weight loss, diet changes and they in turn will lead in more controlled BG and a lowering of the a1c levels.

Post script:

I think the Poor Diabetic’s approach is paving the way for future Type 2s and Prediabetics. Nice

I have been doing low carb for several years. I do probably spend more money on vegetables and good quality meat but I am not buying boxed cereal, junk foods, pastas, rices or any processed foods which tend to be expensive. I rarely use things like Ketchup or BBQ sauce unless they are low carb. Whenever possible I buy free range ground beef to make chilli or burgers. The extra dollar I spend to keep me healthier is worth it. I eat lots of eggs, I buy in bulk at Costc and repackage into smaller packages. Shop sales. Basically low carb is meat, eggs, veggies and cheese.

A great way to do low carb cheaply is to check out the reduced section at the supermarket, where they mark down the stuff that needs to be sold that day. Almost always, there will be bags of ready-mixed salad. Since I’m buying them to eat immediately, it’s fresh enough for me, and it costs almost nothing. I also often find good pickings at the deli counter at the end of the day.

Lots of great posts. Other Ideas…

  1. Grow a garden
  2. If you can’t do this, perhaps you have a friend who is an avid gardener, they always have surplus to give away.
  3. Invest in a freezer. Fill it with garden surplus and/or foods you buy in bulk and on sale.

This has been on my mind as I look towards retirement and less money to spend. As usual Tudiabetes is a great resource.

The trick is to prepare meals in advance. Buy 1-2 pounds of protein (meat) and prepare it to be used in different types of meals. For instance, if you grill chicken, then you can eat a breast by itself … shred it for a carefully prepared taco salad (minus the chips and tortillas), or put it on a salad. It is all about creativity and cooking for yourself.

I eat 4 oz of Meat, a Veggie and salad…and sometimes a yam, or sweet potato. I always buy bulk Meat at Costco and cut it into enough just for 1 meal, and it is very cost effective.

My grocery bill is lower when I go very low carb. This is because I cut out fruits and vegetables. I make some low carb chili and it lasts about 3 days. Another cheap meal is a pork shoulder cooked in the crock pot. I eat a lot of eggs and bacon. The weeks when I buy fresh wild caught fish, fresh vegetables (other then salad stuff), and fresh fruit my bills are way higher.

You can keep it fairly cheap by sticking to mostly chicken, meat, pork, eggs, and salad. If find the cravings for processed carbs and grains goes away after several weeks.