Stock Up On Keto Essentials Without Crushing Your Budget
Today, I will explain a keto journey which includes a massive weight loss success Mrs. CBB has had with the keto diet.
I wanted to make this blog post one where you get a look into how the keto diet works from a success story point of view.
As well, targeting the frugal aspect of the keto diet by sourcing the best-priced keto products online and in-store.
Although we’d love to share her before and after photos it’s not possible but I can assure you they are amazing.
I have ten areas of the keto diet below that I will explore with you.
- Keto Diet Pantry Staples we always keep stocked in our kitchen
- Costco Canada keto products that are worth buying in bulk
- Two of our favourite keto coffee recipes
- What the keto diet is all about?
- Intermittent and Extended fasts and how they work
- Keto-approved sugar substitutes
- Ketone Blood Monitor vs. Ketone Urine Strips
- What is Ketosis? What are Macros?
- Keto Meal Plan recipe ideas
- Importance of reading product labels
There are lots of areas to cover so let’s get started.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask Mrs. CBB or me about the keto diet please leave us your comments below.
Our grocery shopping list and meal plan have changed since we’ve adopted a keto diet.
As well, you might also have taken note that our many of our Sunday frugal recipes include keto recipes.
This new healthy lifestyle has motivated us to learn more about healthy fats, protein, and vegetables our body needs.
It has also helped us to understand the importance of intermittent fasting and being mindful of what we eat.
Back On Track With The Keto Diet
We have taken control of our eating habits and put more effort into what fuels our bodies and how we energize it each day.
Related: Are you eating too much food?
I’m not exclusively on a keto diet however I do follow it as much as possible as my dietary needs are different from Mrs. CBB.
Coffee is a great start to the day for keto diet lovers.
Many of you might be familiar with Bullet Proof Coffee and for those of you who aren’t let me tell you it’s packed full of fat!
Keto Diet vs. Grocery Budget
Some people have asked if the keto diet has interrupted our lean grocery budget of $265 a month for 2 adults and boy.
The answer to that is, it depends on our keto meal plan for the month and grocery sales.
Update: As of 2020 our grocery budget is $500 which allows us to create more keto recipes and annual increases since I wrote this post.
Update 2021 Our grocery budget will be $550 a month plus our reserve money of $25.
Some months might be great and others you go over budget although having a $25 stockpile budget comes in handy.
Another factor to consider is price and sales like you would any other time you grocery shop.
You may run out of almond flour and it just so happens to be on sale, you’re in luck.
That’s when you stock up and use that stockpile budget.
A blog post I wrote,”How much does the ketogenic diet cost?” explores how little changes won’t break your budget.
It’s basically just eating a clean diet with healthy fats to lose weight and get back to the healthiest version of you. – Mr.CBB
A Little Goes A long Way
Cutting back on non-essentials has helped our grocery budget.
It has forced us to cook more, meal prep like pros (even though they don’t always work perfectly), and shop with a frugal mindset.
Bulletproof Coffee Recipe
We make our perfect cup of morning java the keto way.
However, for keto beginners this coffee might seem overwhelmingly odd but trust me it is delicious and not in any funky, weird, kind of way.
Bulletproof coffee is frothy and creamy comparable to a Tim Hortons hot English toffee or Vanilla Cappuccino.
Just in time for Autumn, you can start to enjoy Pumpkin Spiced Bulletproof Coffee which I’m sharing from The Banting Blondes.
- 2 cups of black coffee *instant or brewed
- 1 tablespoon Butter grass-fed is best but can be costly Kerrygold is popular and a Natural Irish Butter.
- 2 tablespoons 35% whipping cream
- 2 sweetener packets, SweetLeaf Sweet Drops SteviaClear, 60ml or Torani Sugar-Free English Toffee Flavor Syrup, 750ml
- Other Sweeteners that you can use are
- Monkfruit Sweetener
- Sukrin Gold
- Electric Milk Coffee Frother
How To Make Bulletproof Coffee
Make your 2 cups of black coffee then put all the ingredients into a blender or use a hand frother and blend it up until creamy and frothy.
We like the blender better as it does a good job with frothing.
Both of them come with an upfront cost which I feel is reasonable but will save you a fortune by staying away from Starbucks.
Keto Iced Dalgona Coffee
Another popular keto coffee is the Keto Iced Dalgona Coffee which is a cold version of the bulletproof coffee.
You can make Dalgona coffee hot or cold but for the blog, I chose the cold version since we both enjoy it.
Dalgona coffee is a whipped coffee where you can add MCT oil and butter to the hot version.
A coffee such as this with the added fat from the whipped cream helps keep you satisfied.
Lately, she’s been using unsweetened oat milk that we buy from Costco in place of the almond milk.
You can also find Macadamia nut milk at Costco which is another substitute for almond milk if you don’t like it.
All of the ingredients are keto diet staples that will always be found in our kitchen.
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee
- 2 teaspoons of sugar, sugar substitute or flavoured syrup
- 1 cup Almond Milk (Unsweetened – Keto) or any other dairy such as Macadamia milk or oat milk.
- 2 teaspoons 35% Whipping Cream Keto and Traditional or Coconut Cream (Vegan)
- Ice Cubes if Cold Dalgona Coffee
- Hot water if Hot Dalgona Coffee
What is the Keto Diet?
The Ketogenic diet also is known as Keto or a low-carb, high-fat diet following suit with Atkins and other low carb diets and meal plans.
Entering your body into ketosis will kick-start burning fat for energy which is what helps you lose weight.
What we love about eating on the keto diet is the amount of experimenting we do with the products we purchase.
The hardest part for newbies into the keto diet way of eating is having to eat high amounts of fat.
To some, it may be shocking that Mrs. CBB eats bacon more than the average person but it’s the good fats she needs.
Keto Diet Is A Lifestyle Change
Reducing carb intake and increasing fat puts a body into a state called, “ketosis” where your body uses stored fat for fuel.
When we think of the Keto Diet we consider it a lifestyle change and not a means to lose weight.
However, for Mrs. CBB the keto diet started as a way for her to reduce a large amount of weight she gained during pregnancy.
Baby Weight Be Gone
After having our first child and gaining over 50lbs she knew she had to get back on track to where she was pre-pregnancy.
Running used to be what she loved to do but that wasn’t in the picture because she was too exhausted with a new baby.
Although running 5k every day hadn’t become part of her daily routine she incorporated keto as a new way of eating.
The idea was to get her diet under control by eating high-fat low carb and then factoring in walking for exercise.
She has since lost over 100lbs on keto and is still losing pounds practicing weekly intermittent fasting.
Keto Diet Plan
If you want to lose weight your body needs to be in a state of ketosis using the fat you have stored for energy as opposed to carbohydrates.
Failing to do this may result in slow weightloss or possibly no weight loss and weight gain.
Keeping your macros at 20 net grams of carbs is the holy grail although your doctor may recommend you start higher.
Keto Diet Macros 101
What are macros?
Macronutrients are three categories of nutrition that goes into our bodies, fats, carbohydrates, and protein.
Counting macros means you are counting the grams of each of the three categories and keeping track.
If you do cheat and it may happen, start over and perhaps incorporate intermittent fasting to get back into ketosis fast.
Before you do any form of fasting it’s important to talk to your doctor.
Lastly, one thing I want to point out is that most food bloggers are not nutritionists.
So, take the macro counts with a grain of salt and calculate them yourself using the nutritional information on the products you use.
For example, I’m not a nutritionist and although many of my recipes I calculate macros they may differ based on products used by each consumer.
Fasting On The Keto Diet
Alternatively, as I mentioned above intermittent fasting will also help get you into ketosis in as little as two days.
Some people use the intermittent fasting 16:8 method where you fast for 16 hours and have an eating window of 8 hours.
There are many intermittent fasting eating windows that it’s up to you to find what works best for your body.
My advice would be to test them out and then stick to what will be attainable for your lifestyle.
The first number is the number of hours you fast and the second is your eating window.
What is OMAD?
Some people love to do OMAD which is ONE MEAL A DAY where all calories are consumed in a timed eating window.
If you find you are at a stall with your keto diet intermittent fasting will help get you back into ketosis.
Essentially you do what’s right for you and always consult with your doctor first.
Weight After Fasting
Recently Mrs.CBB completed a 2 week extended fast of just water and black coffee and dropped near 30lbs.
Of course, her goal was autophagy and a full body cleanse but the weight loss was nice.
She has managed to keep the weight off over the years and continues to drop pounds.
These days she does weekly 72-hour fasts but alternates it from week to week to shake the body up a bit.
Extended Fasting For Autophagy
What is autophagy?
If you want to do a full-body reset a 72 hour fast only consuming water, black coffee, and tea is a great way to get back to basics for your gut health and introduce autophagy.
In simple terms, autophagy is a state where your body cleanses itself of old cells and rejuvenates new healthier cells.
The term Autophagy has been described as, “self-eating” where Auto means Self and Phagy means to eat.
Again, consult with your doctor.
Popular Online Keto Doctors And Coaches
Two of Mrs. CBB’s favourite doctors to follow on YouTube are Dr. Mindy Pelz and Canadian Dr. Jason Fung.
Dr. Fung’s book The Obesity Code is a book you will want to read.
Everything you believe about how to lose weight is wrong. Weight gain and obesity are driven by hormones—in everyone—and only by understanding the effects of insulin and insulin resistance can we achieve lasting weight loss.
In this highly readable and provocative book, Dr. Jason Fung sets out an original, robust theory of obesity that provides startling insights into proper nutrition.
In addition to his five basic steps, a set of lifelong habits that will improve your health and control your insulin levels, Dr. Fung explains how to use intermittent fasting to break the cycle of insulin resistance and reach a healthy weight—for good.
You may want to check out Dr. Eric Berg, Thomas DeLauer, and Dr. Ken Berry all on YouTube for keto expertise.
Keto Urine Strips
Last year Mrs. CBB bought keto sticks from the pharmacy that test the number of ketones in your urine.
You may be familiar with these if you’ve been pregnant as most doctors ask pregnant women to check their ketone levels during doctor’s visits.
Thankfully, you can buy a bottle of 200 Keto test strips for $10-12 at Shoppers Drug Mart or from Amazon Canada.
It’s not 100% accurate but it will give you a good estimate whether you have reached ketosis or not.
All you need is a bit of colour change in the stick to be in ketosis however when you become fat-adapted you may not register at all.
Sometimes people think the darker the urine stick colour the further into ketosis you may be.
Unfortunately, it could be the other way around and you are dehydrated.
It’s very important to keep hydrated on a low carb keto diet because of all the fibre you eat.
The last thing you want happening is getting constipated which is another issue that is hard to deal with (no pun intended).
Testing Ketones with a Blood Monitor
The best method for testing your ketone levels is by using a ketone blood monitor specifically designed to test ketone levels.
You can get a prescription from your doctor if he/she supports your keto journey which may be covered under your work health benefits.
We use the Freestyle Precision Neo test monitor from Shoppers Drug Mart.
The test strips for the blood ketone monitor cost around $25-$30 for a box of 10 or on Amazon Canada for $26.99.
How Do You Know You Are In Ketosis?
When using the blood ketone monitor if your aim is weight-loss you will want an optimal reading between 1.5 to 3.0 mmol/.
If you are measuring 0.5-1.5mmol this is also putting you into ketosis but you won’t see the best results as you would in the optimal level above.
Our Keto Diet Meal Plan
Mrs. CBB didn’t start with much of a meal plan for the keto diet however we did experiment with different recipes and then added our touch.
What we’ve learned is that if you stock all the main staples of a keto diet in your pantry and refrigerator you need it.
What we do is then purchase produce, meats, and dairy and we’re all set.
Some of our more popular keto diet recipes on the blog have been favourites we’ve been enjoying.
All of these recipes are keto, gluten-free, sugar-free, and low carb perfect for the keto diet and maintenance.
- Mozzarella Stuffed Italian Keto Meatloaf
- Keto Baked Zucchini Egg Roll
- Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Tots
- Simple Keto Baked Chicken Wings
- Creamy Keto Radish Soup
- Creamy Asparagus Soup
- Keto Salted Caramel Cheesecake
- 10 Flavours Of Keto Chaffle Waffles
- Keto Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
- Sugar-Free Keto Lemon Cheesecake Squares
- Peanut Butter Keto Protein Cookies
- Keto Coconut Macaroons
- Bacon Fried Keto Lupini Beans
You can find all of our Keto Diet Recipes on our Free Recipe Index Page.
Keto Diet Food List
Your keto grocery list may differ from someone else depending on food allergies, grocery budget, and availability.
What I find interesting about the Low Carb Keto Diet is that it encourages people to cook otherwise you will fail.
The Keto Diet is a masterpiece of dishes that will satisfy your tummy for hours.
We also shop at Costco for many of our Keto staples which I’ve created a massive blog post with photos.
It’s one of the top Keto Costco Canada product reviews on the web right now and worth reviewing.
Another popular read is Keto Costco Canada Products We Buy To Save Money
Pork Rinds Are An Important Keto Diet Staple
Oh, and if you want the BEST PORK RINDS in Canada you must try Buster Rhino’s Pork Rinds at least once.
You’ll be hooked, trust me. Their pork rinds are low-carb and keto-friendly and come in a tonne of flavours.
Use my Buster Rhino’s link to get 10% off your order!
Plus its FREE SHIPPING if you spend over $50. Pretty amazing.
We buy a load of them so we always have them for keto snacks or to make these nachos.
My favourite pork rind flavours are Salt N’ Vinegar, BBQ, Dill Pickle, and Ketchup.
Everything we buy at Costco Canada for the Keto Diet.
Other Keto Products We Buy From Amazon
Below are a few products Mrs. CBB uses and recommends as part of her keto lifestyle and for anyone on a keto diet.
If you don’t, believe me, I’ll take a photo of our overflowing pantry, haha!
It will take time to build up a keto pantry so don’t get overwhelmed with all of the products.
We bake and create recipes quite a bit so it’s important for us to have all of the keto ingredients stocked.
We also tend to avoid buying pre-made Keto foods as they are very pricey and you can make them at home at a fraction of the cost.
I will add more as I find more so you have a comprehensive list if you are just starting.
- Collagen Peptides for hair, skin, and bones.
- Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa
- Krisda Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips (Our favourite made with Stevia)
- Coconut Oil
- Avocado Oil (You will use this quite a bit)
- Everland Natural Baking Powder
- Everland Natural Baking Soda
- Ketone Strips to see if you are in ketosis
- Keto + MCT oil Drink (mix with water.)
- Mrs. Butterworth’s No Sugar Added Syrup
- Nutrilite Dark Chocolate Spread
- Cocao Nibs Great for smoothies, cookies, or any baking.
- Swerve Sweetener Ultimate Sugar Replacement
- Crazy Mooskies No Sugar Added BBQ Sauce
- FATSO Cocoa Butter – High-Performance Natural Peanut Butter w/ Unsweetened Chocolate Flavor & Plant-Based Superfats – MCT Oil, Avocado Oil, Flax, Sweet Tapioca & Chia (500g) Keto-Friendly Nut Butter
- Almond Butter
- Pink Himalayan Salt
- Tomato Paste in a tube
- Organika Bone Broth Chicken or Beef
- Sukrin Gold Brown Sugar Replacement
- Premium MCT Oil
- Eat Smart Sweets Gummy Bears or Red Fish (sugar-free)
- Suzy Good Fats Bars Box of 12 (Different flavours to choose from)
- Better than Noodles Konjac Pasta
- Moon Cheese Pepper Jack Cheese Snack
- Keto BOMB Coffee Whitener
- Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener
- Yupik Raw Pumpkin Seeds
- Xanthan Gum
- Almond Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Coconut Milk
- Coconut Cream (great for making whipping cream)
- Cacao Butter
- Coffee Grinder is a MUST kitchen tool but just a cheap one will do to grind up sugar substitute to powder and other spices.
- Electric Milk Frother for your Bullet-Proof Coffee
- CALM Ionic Magnesium Citrate Powder in Raspberry or Lemon which helps you sleep better, stay focused and helps relieve constipation
- Dash Mini Waffle Machine to make Keto Chaffle Waffles
- Sliced Black Olives or stuffed green olives
Costco Canada Keto Diet Food List
I also put together an extensive Costco Canada Keto Food List which also includes photos so you know what you’re looking for.
It has been one of the most popular Keto education posts on Canadian Budget Binder that I update often.
If you’re looking for even more inspiring keto products to add to your kitchen it’s a must-read.
We’ve found loads of grocery budget savings buying in bulk from Costco especially on so many food products.
Eating Good Fats Keeps You Full For Longer
The idea is to keep full so you’re not snacking in between unless necessary or over-eating which most people do.
When we eat the wrong foods that spike our insulin levels, be cautious.
It can be hard to beat the carbohydrate giant especially when there are hidden carbs in so many food products.
Most often we find that not all stores care keto diet foods so opting to purchase online is the next best option.
Not all keto diet foods and supplements are purchased at the grocery store unless they have an Organic/Health section where they may be available.
Reading Keto Food Product Labels
Reading food labels and ingredients lists are critical when leading a keto lifestyle.
For example, Costco has a Keto Approved Bar called Choc Keto Snaps that people are raving about however if you read the ingredient list it has cane sugar.
Cane sugar is sugar and not keto-approved so I’m not sure how companies get away with labeling products by cheating consumers this way.
Just be cautious about the ingredient list and if you are not sure Google it or ask your keto friend network for help.
Keto Approved Sweeteners
This is a great chart that shows you the good and bad sugars and sweeteners on the market.
Always do your research when it comes to using keto sweetener alternatives to find what works best for you.
Keto Diet Approved Sweeteners
You can find more info at: How Much Does The Keto Diet Cost
- Monk Fruit
- Sukrin Gold Brown Sugar
- Swerve Brown Sugar
- Xylitol (low-carb)
- Bochasweet U.S.A only
Where to buy Keto?
Most often we end up at the Bulk Barn, Costco Canada, and Popeye’s supplements to stock up on deals.
You can also order keto products from Amazon Canada with free 2-day shipping if you’re a Prime member.
Always watch their daily deals as we’ve picked up some great savings.
Popular online and brick and mortar stores for keto products that we recommend are:
- Low Carb Grocery Canada
- Switch Grocery Canada
- Low Carb Canada
- Sugar Daddies Bakery in Ontario
- Buster Rhino’s Pork Rinds, Spices, Meats
- Goodness Me
- Healthy Planet
- Natural Food Pantry Canada
- Sweet and Sprouted Canada
Almost everything that is Keto or low carb is gluten-free so talk to your doctor if you think you’d like to try this way of eating healthy.
I plan to do a master keto grocery shopping list to share prices and tell you why we buy what we do, where we do in an upcoming blog post.
Keep an eye on the blog or better yet, subscribe so you get an email when I publish a new post.
Printable Keto Diet Staples List
You can also download our 30 keto staples list printable and put it on your refrigerator for reference and motivation.
Keep in mind that our Keto Diet/Low Carb pantry staples list is not inclusive as we have many other items that add to our meal plan.
You can also find online keto grocery stores such as Low Carb Canada that will deliver right to your door.
We all have to start somewhere
These are the essentials that are great to start with when you are new to the Keto Diet lifestyle.
Eat Eggs, Eat Bacon, and Eat your good Fats!!!
Eat Fat Get Thin!!
Beginners Keto Food List
New 2020: Beginners Keto Food List Printable
Discussion Question: What are some of your favourite keto diet staples that I haven’t listed and the best place to buy or order them in Canada?
August Grocery Game Challenge
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Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2017: $3180 or $265/month (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $265
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $265
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 632,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
- Shoppers Optimum: 983,000 O.M.G
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Zweet to cash out: $18.25… no idea where the money went but it seems we have $0.
- Checkout51 to cash out: $24.50 we cashed out so we’re back at O.
Our Grocery Shop This Week
- 3 x 10% Cream $2.09 each
- 2 dozen extra-large eggs $5.09
- 1 4l Sealtest Milk $4.25
- Whipping Cream $4.39
- Almond Flour $19.99
- 2lbs strawberries $5.99
Total Out-of-pocket $45.98
All totals below already have tax factored into them.
- Total to spend this month: $265
- Stockpile budget 2016: $25.00/month
- Stockpile budget used this month: $25
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $1
- Total in-store discounts this week: $0
- Total in-store discounts to date: $652.80
- Total spent this week: $45.98
- Total spent so far this month: $283.51
- Total over/Under spend this shop: over $18.51
- Total over/Under spend for the month: $18.51 to carry to September
- Total left to spend for the month: -$18.5
- Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $255.16+March ($5 budget increase) $263.60 + April $273.83+ May $257.15 + June $65.43+July $226.84+August $283.51
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
We didn’t need too much since we had a load of vegetables and fruits dumped on us from the in-laws the past few days.
We’ll be eating very well this next week or two.
Looks like we went over in August but still great considering it was a 5-week grocery shopping month.
Free produce did help though I have to admit.
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