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“I Lost 100+ Pounds and Cut My Grocery Bill by $100s a Month With These Dollar Store Tricks!”

Delicious ideas for low-cost, low-carb weight loss — and the 17¢ mix-in proven to boost fat burn

Frustrated by too-tight pants and too-high prices at the grocery checkout? A cool social media trend could solve both problems at once. It’s all about finding low-carb deals “at places like Dollar Tree, Walmart and Costco,” says 135-pounds-slimmer Mayra Wendolyne, 39, whose LowCarbLove posts on TikTok and YouTube have millions of followers. Mayra and other influencers help folks save money on keto — they’ve been filling up and burning fat for as little as $30 a week.

Skeptics take note: When a British TV series on saving money tested different diets, a plan
created by KetoDietApp’s Martina Šlajerová was up to $275 cheaper per month than other diets — and it took off far more weight, with one woman shedding 41 pounds in 28 days. “Low-carb is the least expensive when we stick to simple foods,” shares Šlajerová. “And we tend to lose more weight when we keep food simple.” That’s why shopping for deals can actually help you shrink your waist faster. Keep reading for how you can save money on keto.

What is the keto diet?

For those who don’t know of keto works, it reduces carb intake and prevents us from making enough blood sugar to be our main fuel, “so we begin turning fat into an alternate fuel called ketones,” explains YouTube nutrition guru Ken D. Berry, MD.

A traditional keto-style diet caps carbs at no more than 50 grams a day; less strict low-carb diets allow for up to 150 grams of carbs but typically also limit protein and fat. Which is more effective ? Dr. Berry says it’s whatever works best for your body and lifestyle.

No matter the option you choose, it’ll help you make more ketones and, per studies, increase weight loss by over 1,000%.

Dr. Berry adds that the process lowers chronically high blood sugar and inflammation, which helps everything from arthritis to autoimmune disorders like MS. Does the doc think you need pricey organic veggies and grass-fed meat to benefit? Absolutely not. “Switch to low-carb foods you like that fit your budget, and you can reap massive benefits,” he insists. “There’s a good chance you’ll also slash your medical bills.”

Related: Keto Ice Cream Is the Cool Way to Boost Weight Loss — Here’s the 4-Ingredient Recipe

How to save money on keto or any low-carb diet

Šlajerová, author of The Keto All Day Cookbook, suggests reading labels and start building as many meals as you can around low-carb staples (non-starchy veggies, berries, nuts, fish, meat and good fat). Use strategies that keep costs down on any diet, like shopping sales and avoiding expensive specialty items. Then track what you eat in a free app like Carb Manager or Cronometer to help you figure out top options for your goals and tastes.

To take it to the next level (and keep costs as low as $30 a week), Šlajerová suggests jotting down a weekly meal plan that uses items already on hand and keeps other ingredients to a minimum. The blogger, who’s been low-carb for over a decade, including years when she was young and broke, is also a fan of these low-cost tricks that actually make the scale move faster.

Related: The Keto Diet Explained: Is the Popular Weight Loss Regimen Effective?

4 cheap keto diet hacks proven to burn fat faster

1. Add a 17¢ mix-in to coffee

Coconut oil is pennies a serving at dollar stores, and Šlajerová loves it as a swap for creamer. Why? It’s yummy and a top source of MCTs, compounds that double ketone production.

Proof it works: A Columbia University study found MCT oil helped folks burn belly fat 600% faster than olive oil.

2. Pack DIY ‘lunchables’

Grab multi-compartment containers and fill ’em with low-carb deals. Vanda Williams, 59, lost 168 pounds making grab-and-go lunches from turkey, cheese, pickles, pork rinds, nuts and especially hard-cooked eggs. (Get more of Vanda’s story below.)

Proof it works: Eggs kill hunger so well, a study found people slim down faster by opting for an egg-based meal over a grain-based one.

Related: MDs Reveal a Surprising Side Effect of the Keto Diet + Easy Ways to Sidestep It

3. Try TikTok’s famous cottage cheese bowls

They’re so good, they have 25 million views! To make your own, mix cottage cheese, sauce (like marinara, barbecue or salsa) and mix-ins (anything you might add to a pizza); layer on cheese and more toppings, then bake or microwave to melty deliciousness.

Proof it works: Cottage cheese contains a special protein that, per University of Arkansas tests, sets off reactions in muscles and doubles our rate of fat loss.

4. Find bargains on omega-3s

Every person we spoke to for this story recommended canned wild-caught salmon, saying it’s tasty, fights fat and is an extremely good value (just $1.25 at dollar stores).

Proof it works: A Korean team found omega-3s help ignite fat burn and can triple weight loss.

Related: This Keto Detox Soup Makes It Easy to Lose Weight Fast — Without Feeling Hungry

Low-cost keto diet success story: Lisa Perez, 58

Lisa Perez was touched when her niece asked her to be a bridesmaid. But one look at the dress, “and I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable in it.” So the Texas coupon-lover committed to getting healthier.

Taught to count calories when she was a chubby kid, Lisa read about low-carb eating and thought it felt like a better fit for her. She started an Instagram page to keep herself accountable and was soon experimenting with ways to get lean for less. Eating simple egg breakfasts and low-carb wraps for lunch, she added variety at dinner — especially with her signature cottage cheese bowls.

“Just cooking at home instead of going to restaurants saved us so much,” she shares. She also store-hopped, filling her freezer when she found great deals. Her wallet stayed fat as weight disappeared quickly — 3 sizes from her petite 5′ frame. “I feel amazing,” she says. “And I rocked that bridesmaid dress!”

Low-cost keto diet before and after: Vanda Williams, 59

Before and after photos of Vanda Williams who lost 168 lbs with tricks to save money on keto diet

“My family joked that I was addicted to chips,” recalls Vanda Williams, 59. But Vanda wasn’t laughing as she was diagnosed with prediabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It prompted her to go keto.

Vanda, who lives in Barbados, says her first grocery run was pricey. But after losing 8 pounds in a week, she wasn’t giving up. Instead, Vanda hit discount and warehouse stores, targeting lower-cost items (like chicken thighs, tuna and ground beef) and buying them in bulk to maximize savings. To save more, she found cheap veggies and eggs at a local farm.

As her progress continued and her appetite shrunk, “I only needed two meals a day to feel great.” It allowed her to cut her costs further. In a year, Vanda shed 100 pounds and got off all meds. Now 168 pounds lighter, she loves her budget-friendly keto life. “It’s amazing to feel so good!”

Money-saving keto recipes for weight loss

To get huge results with a tiny price tag, use the tips above to keep costs down and a free app like Carb Manager or Cronometer to keep carbs down. Creating a meal plan before you shop is smart; be sure to use leftovers and food already in your kitchen. Keto does kill hunger, so cut portions as appetite shrinks. We’ve got fun, inexpensive ideas to inspire you. For more free recipes, check out Šlajerová’s KetoDietApp blog.

Ultimate Keto Coffee (with 17¢ secret ingredient)

the keto diet: Bulletproof coffee latte, blended with coconut oil. Soft focus

In vented blender, whip 1 cup hot brewed coffee, 1–2 Tbs. coconut oil, 2 Tbs. coconut milk plus optional ½ tsp. cinnamon and zero-carb sweetener.

TikTok Cottage Cheese Bowls

Pizza di carne (minced meat pizza, Italy)
Image Professionals GmbH/Getty

Mix 1 cup cottage cheese, ⅓ cup marinara, diced pizza toppings and seasoning to taste. Add ½ cup mozzarella and more toppings. Bake at 400ºF, 10 minutes.

Bonus recipe: 6-ingredient salmon patties with dollar-store ingredients

the keto diet: Traditional Danish Fiskefrikadeller or fish cakes. Fiskefrikadeller are made from finely chopped white fish, usually cod or haddock, with small pieces of more roughly chopped salmon added, along with cream, onion, carrot and flour, salt and white pepper. Served with slices of lemon and remoulade. Colour, horizontal with some copy space.

From, this recipe turns 6 dollar-store ingredients into a delish entree


  • 10 oz. canned salmon, drained
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • 4 oz. pork rinds, ground into crumbs
  • 2 Tbs. pico de gallo or salsa
  • 2 Tbs. coconut oil or any oil


  1. Mix all ingredients except oil. Form four patties.
  2. In skillet over medium-high heat, cook patties in oil until golden, about 3 minutes per side.
  3. Garnish as desired.

Serves 4.

For more on weight loss, click through the links below!

Spicefruit Works Like New Weight-Loss Drugs to Speed Slimming — And It Tastes Like Root Beer

How Adding Nuts to a Low-Carb Diet Boosts Mood and Burns Fat Faster: Breakthrough Study

This 30 Plants a Week Hack Helped One Woman Lose 227 lbs — How It Can Work for You

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