Broke Keto

I should start this by letting you guys know that I’m still a student. I’ve been studying for the past 2 years, and am in my final year of my degree in Communications. Which means that I don’t have much money (what student ever does?!), and I also pay for my own rent, car, food etc, which as we all know, can add up!

When we started keto last year I was working part time at a pretty cool job in the city, and it paid me well enough to afford dinners out and little luxuries every now and again, which was super amazing while I was still at school, then I worked full time as soon as uni wrapped up for the year. Again, super cool and nice for the ol’ wallet.
So while we were starting out on keto, we were pretty ok for money at the time and could afford dinners out and to buy extra food whenever we couldn’t decide what to eat!

Now is a different situation: I’m back at uni, the partner is back at work, and we’re both struggling (financially) after an extended holiday overseas while I look for a new job (that I won’t hate).

Thankfully we’re both adept cooks! We both love food and making new recipes that we’ll enjoy, and we both love making things from scratch! So here are my tips for how to survive keto while also broke AF!

How We Swing It

  • Shop in bulk: Costco for (free range) meats, eggs, dairy and salad mixes
  • Plan your meals: Planning has helped up so much with what to make! We usually have a plan on a Sunday when we have bought all of our groceries with what we’re going to make!
  • Make plenty of food every time you cook, and ALWAYS eat your leftovers! We cook enough so that we can have it again another night (I usually make it into something different because I cannot eat the same food again and again)
  • Use cheaper ingredients that go further and add flavour. Spices are cheap and they add so much flavour, bacon adds flavour and fat to food when you’re trying to increase your fat intake, eggs are cheap, filling, and have great macros for keto – I add them to every single salad by boiling a bunch very few days and just cutting them up for salad.
  • Buy on sale: most foods have shelf lives much longer than the product says, so things like cheeses and meats that are marked down will still be fine for a little while, so try to catch the sales at the end of the day at the market or grocery store when foods are being discounted and freeze them! Which brings me to:
  • Utilising your freezer! Freeze everything you’re not using in the next few days, if you’ve been shopping, then you should know what you want to make for the next few days and you can freeze everything you won’t need! I separate my meats and certain vegetables so that I can freeze all of the stuff I won’t need immediately.
  • Crappier cuts of meat are your friend on the keto diet! Using things like chicken thigh and wing, the fattier mince or cuts of beef are also going to be cheaper than their lean alternative, and they’re all usually higher in fat, which is perfect for the macros you’re aiming for!

I hope some of these tips have helped you out! I find that when it comes to keto, there are some staple ingredients that you can usually find pretty cheap, and everything else is just surplus! Make sure you’re eating plenty of greens and getting in enough micronutrients and you should be golden!

Do you have any extra tips for being keto on a budget? Let me know!

The Crappy Keto Run-down

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or expert at all. This is what has happened for me, and here are the places where I got a lot of information when I first started out:

This Video
Healthful Persuit

I started the keto WOE last year with my partner to deal with his allergies to gluten and a few other things that were causing digestive issues. We did really well at it, and kept it up until we went overseas, where we both indulged, and came back a bit more bloated than expected.
I got back into it as soon as we returned because I was enjoying the feelings of digestive comfort, clear-headedness, and of course the weight loss.
Let me tell you though:
It can be rough. Especially the first few days when you get into ketosis.
The “keto flu” gets talked about a lot, and people complain a lot about early days in ketosis. I’ll discuss the “keto flu” in-depth in another blog post.

I thought I might start a little series documenting the stages of ketosis, and since I’ve started by getting back into ketosis after getting back from holidays, I can also document how I’m going, while also discussing many common topics brought up by keto beginners.

Currently I am on day 8 of being back in ketosis. Thankfully, I had been in ketosis before, so my body was able to get me back in quickly.

Weighty Stuff:

I started 9 days ago, and my weight started at 74kg (post holiday bloat).
By day 2, I had dropped almost 1kg of water weight, and 9 days in I have lost a total of 2.8kg.


I have had a lot of time to train lately, and have made myself a pretty intensive workout schedule while I’m so free up.

The Schedule:
Gym 6 days per week. Around 40 mins running, arms, back, chest, shoulders, core, legs, glutes and I’m also working on pull-ups.

I noticed the first few days of being back in ketosis my training suffered, as it does for most! My stamina was shot and I was super weak. Unfortunately, this feeling does tend to stick around for a little while, and it depends person to person how long this might last, or if it happens at all!

The last few days I have noticed a significant increase in my stamina, and a slight strength increase. Day 6 was when things started to click into place for me in the gym, and things have been on the up-and-up since then!

Mental Clarity:

Here’s a thing that I really didn’t take much stock in when I first started keto. I assumed it was all just bunk, until I got into ketosis.
I don’t mean a week into ketosis, I mean when you’ve been peeing ketones for over a week, have acetone breath (another lovely early stages (first 1-3 months) side-effect of keto – “keto breath”), and are waking up at 6:30am without complaints or issues.
That is when you start to notice that the fog has lifted off your brain, you can think clearly and BAM! You’ve now entered that next door of ketosis!

Extra Things to Note:

  • Ketosis isn’t something you can do 6 days a week then have cheat days one day. It won’t work like that unfortunately.
    If you’re willing to be kicked out of ketosis and go back through the whole process again, go for it. But my advice is to stick with it, eat over your calorie amounts if you want to, get bunless McDonalds burgers, or deep fry something, but try to stay away from carbs if your end goal is long-term ketosis.
  • Try to stick to healthy fats. Healthy fats are the ones that will help with your brain function, give you glowing skin, and give you good amounts of energy. Stick to avocado (also a good source of fibre, magnesium, and potassium), olive oils (unheated), coconut products, salmon, brazil and macadamia nuts, tuna, chia, eggs and many more that I might expand on in another post.
  • Drink more water than you think is necessary. It’s important to do this all the time anyway, but when you’re changing up your diet, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough H2O.
  • Don’t be scared if you poop less often. I was, then I realised that you’re replacing carbs with fat in your diet, carbs take up so much more volume in your body than fat, so you’re actually consuming less food (volume / calories), so your body needs time to adapt to having less volume. So don’t fret, it will pass. 😉

In my next post I’ll discuss “Fat Adaption” and how to tell when you’re a “fat burning machine” (If any of you have listened to Leanne Vogul’s podcast you will know)

P.S. Entering shark week this week. Wish me luck.