Cheap “Low Carb” Shopping list. ($3/meal or less)

If you are like me, you don’t like to spend money. And you definitely don’t want to give it away freely. But it seems that when we want to pursue a healthier lifestyle, all of the costs go up. Well, I’m saying “No to that” and you can too!

So I’ve been working out what to buy, cook and prepare so that I can have delicious meals and snacks without the expensive price tag.

Sound good so far? If so, keep on reading with me.

The first thing that I noticed is if you can avoid processed or packaged food, that will already save you alot. You can check your supermarket to see what they have. However, you are likely to get better deals from local markets. Or if you have a yard, grow some of the produce yourself.

You can use the following table, which will give you an estimate of the type of food, calories and price that you will expect to pay.

I’m based in Australia and I would ideally like to spend no more than  $3/meal, which is pretty ambitious in Australia. However, I am the type of person that is always ready to step up to a challenge.

So without any further ado, here’s my shopping list. 

Low carb shopping list

Food itemPriceCalories per servingCarbs per serving (g)Protein per serving (g)
Rolled Oats$1.206928.82.4
Stuffed olives (400g)$2210.40.2
Carrots (1kg)$22050.4
Red Onion$2121.70.6
Frozen berries (500g)$42443
Unsweetened coconut milk (1L)$2280.30.3
Chicken Breast (1kg)$8285054
Lean mince (2kg)$20554037.6
Chicken drumsticks (1kg)$3249625.6
Roast beef (5kg)$55305027.1
Nutrisoy tempeh$4.5021114.522.5
Chobani yogurt (1kg)$613117.314.2

What serving size should you aim for per meal?

I find that consuming up to 400g will keep me feeling full. I will typically split this as 200g protein and 200g of fibrous carbs. If I need to adjust my macros, I can lower the protein and increase the fibrous carbs. So it may be 150g of protein, 250g of fibrous carbs.

If I consume starchy carbs, I will keep the serving size to 100g or less. This will give me enough to be satisfied and to get additional energy from those types of carbohydrates.

I also find that this approach gives me an allowance for consuming the odd “Cheat meal” (within reason). For example, if I go out on a date night, I can have a serving of pasta or a curry. As it will fit into my weekly nutrition.

This type of approach allows me to have more freedom with my food at special times or when I want to enjoy a particular experience.

Where should you shop to find deals?

I find that the best deals are from market providers. In my city, I typically go to Sam Cocos, which has great bulk deals on fruits and vegetables.

The other market provider I go to is the Gabba Fruit Shop. You can pick-up deals on fruits or vegetables that are over-ripe. You can simply freeze these and use them at another time. It’s common to pick-up items for $0.50-2. I’ve done shopping and had the bill come to $10-20, which has been great!

For meats, my butcher is The Chop Shop, who offer great bulk deals.

I will go to the local supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths) to pick-up any other items. However, I find that the bill adds up very quickly. So I prefer to go to the market providers.

I’d recommend doing a check on providers that offer specials in your area.

I hope that this helps.

If you have any other food shopping list tips, let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.