It is possible to eat a low carb diet on a budget! Here are five low carb family dinners for under $50, plus my grocery list.
Back in 2018 I shared this blog post with my weekly menu for a low-carb diet on a budget. It feels like just yesterday but somehow that was almost six years ago! Needless to say, things have changed a good bit since then and sadly grocery prices are definitely higher.
Today I decided it was high time to give this post a much needed update.
In the original post I shared a week’s worth of low carb family meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – on a $50 weekly grocery budget. As you can imagine, you would no longer be able to purchase all of the groceries on my list for that amount.
So instead, I’m updating this post to share five low-carb meals that you can serve your family for right around $50, plus a few breakfast and lunch ideas.
But first things first . . .
Is it even possible eat a low carb diet on a budget?
When you think of eating cheaply, what types of food come to mind? For me it’s pasta, rice, and bread. All carbs!
Thinking about cutting out carbs can feel a bit scary or even impossible if you’re on a tight grocery budget. However, I do think that it’s possible to eat low carb on a budget – it just takes some intentionality and sometimes creativity.
The biggest key is choosing simple meals that don’t require fancy, expensive ingredients. You’ll notice that the five family dinners I’ve shared below are all very simple.
Another tip is to plan multiple meals around one kind of meat. For instance, my meal plan below calls for roasted chicken one day, then chicken soup made from the leftovers the next day.
Now I’ll be super honest, we have NOT been eating very low carb at our house recently. However, when I do make low carb dinners for Pablo and me I often add in some bread or pasta for the kids. It helps to fill them up and if it’s whole grain bread or pasta it’s good for them!
You may also be interested in: Check out 15 ways to save money on groceries here.
Some quick notes to keep in mind:
As with all my grocery lists that I share, I’ve tried to include pretty much everything that you’ll need to buy with the exception of really basic things (for example flour, spices, basic condiments, etc.)
It’s also important to remember that I always include the most recent grocery prices for my area but they are obviously subject to change.
Five Low Carb Dinners on a Budget
1. Roasted chicken and veggies
Roast a whole chicken (or grab a rotisserie chicken from Costco if you have a membership!) You can also opt to cook your chicken in a slow cooker.
Drizzle fresh green beans, carrots, and sliced onions with a bit of olive oil, season well with salt and roast in the oven for a delicious side for your chicken.
2. Chicken soup w/ a side salad
For this meal you’ll use the leftover chicken and carcass from the whole chicken you roasted for the previous meal to make a delicious homemade chicken soup. Serve with a simple side salad.
3. Bunless burgers
Bunless burgers may sound boring but top them with cheese and avocado and you won’t even miss the bun! Serve with some raw veggies on the side.
4. Chicken and veggie stir fry
This is such an easy stir-fry recipe. Yay for easy dinners!
5. Baked salsa chicken w/ roasted broccoli
We love this recipe. Use a mild salsa and a bit less taco seasoning if you don’t like too much spice. I love roasting broccoli in the oven (or tossing some in my air-fryer) for a delicious and healthy side.
By the way, some of the dinners on this low carb meal plan would work with a Keto diet, but it’s definitely not strict enough to be able to call it a full Keto diet. That’s why I’m just sticking with “low carb”.
Now for the grocery list!
$50 Low Carb Grocery List
Note: The grocery prices below are current for my area as of January 2024.
Fresh green beans – $1.68
Lettuce – $1.87
Tomatoes (2) – $0.42
Celery – $0.89
Two onions – $1.72
Broccoli (2 heads) – $2.50
Carrots – $0.98
Avocados (2) – $1.36
Frozen stir-fry veggies – $2.54
Chicken breasts (4 lbs @ 2.29/lb) – $9.16
Burgers (12 count) – $10.97
Whole chicken (5 lbs @ 1.32/lb) – $6.60
Shredded cheese (16 oz.) – $3.98
Dry Goods / Center of the Store
Taco seasoning packet – $0.52
Jar of salsa – $1.77
Total = $46.96 (Can you believe that this came out to less than $50 in 2024? Yay!)
More Low Carb Diet Meal Ideas
There are sooo many options besides good old sunny-side-up eggs. Think omelets, frittatas, poached eggs, etc.
–Chia seed pudding
This recipe looks yummy!
–Chili (leave out the beans to make it low-carb!)
Greek salad, Southwest salad, Chicken Ceasar salad – and a bunch more options!
-Chicken salad served on lettuce leaves
If you’re trying to eat a low carb diet on a budget I’d love to hear your favorite tips and recipes in the comments below.
Oh and hey, if you’re not on my email list I’d love for you to sign up below! I promise I won’t spam you! I usually send out emails once a week sharing my family’s meal plan for the week plus more.