Budget- Friendly Low Carb Meals

Well, the hubs went to the doctor for a check-up the other week, and they asked him to reduce his carb intake. Alright, cool. But have you seen how crazy expensive eating healthily can be? So many recipes have an endless list of fresh or “special” pricey ingredients. (Hello, anything low fat, whole grain, or gluten free.)

Our first week went well, but paying $280 a week just isn’t sustainable. So, I had to do some research before I could make my meal plan. Since I love you guys, I thought I’d share what meal plan I came up with for the next seven days (with links to the recipes, of course.)

(All prices I have gathered are based on the H-E-B app for my local store as of June 4th, 2020.)

Image taken from BudgetBytes.com.

1. Baked Cilantro Lime Chicken Drumsticks (8.63 g carbs/serving)

According to BudgetBytes.com, this should cost about $5.25 to make. However, they do assume you already have some of the items in your kitchen. So, here’s the breakdown from my local H-E-B on the price of each item in it’s purchased quantity:

  • Olive Oil ($3.07)
  • Garlic Cloves (2 for 1.03, 4 per recipe= $2.06)
  • Cumin ($2.05)
  • Salt ($0.41)
  • Freshly Cracked Pepper ($3.28)
  • Limes ($0.21 each, 2 per recipe= $0.42)
  • Cilantro ($0.39)
  • Chicken Drumsticks ($3.86 per pack, 2 packs needed= $7.72)

So, that breaks down to about $16.12. Now, most of us who cook at home already have quite a few of these ingredients, so I think it’s safe to still call it budget-friendly.

However, this does not include sides. I intend to include roasted sweet potatoes (27g carbs per serving), and asparagus (about .6 carbs per spear, we usually eat 4 Spears each= 2.4 g of carbs). Total carbs for this meal: 38.03 that’s a little over half of the daily carb goal for most low carb diets (60 grams, per the Mayo Clinic).

Image taken from BudgetBytes.com.

2. Easy Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin (2.1 g carbs/ serving)

Another one from BudgetBytes.com, (I found a whole list you can check out here,) this recipe is said to cost a total of $5.53. Here’s the breakdown from H-E-B, assuming you have zero ingredients in your kitchen:

  • Garlic Cloves (2 for $1.03, 2 per recipe)
  • Dried Basil ($2.14)
  • Dried Thyme ($2.05)
  • Dried Rosemary ($2.05)
  • Cracked Black Pepper ($4.92)
  • Salt ($0.41)
  • Olive Oil ($3.07)
  • Pork Tenderloin ($9.47 for 2.66 lbs, 1.33 needed for recipe)

That comes out to $25.14. Again, these prices assume that you have ZERO ingredients in your kitchen. For example, I have most of the items on this list, except for the pork tenderloin and the garlic cloves. I will only spend $10.50 on this meal.

The sides I chose for this meal were green beans (7 g carbs per serving), zucchini (about 3g carbs per serving), and summer squash (about 3.5 g carbs per serving) for a total of 15.6 g of carbs for each meal.

Image taken from JoyFilledEats.com.

3. White Lasagna Keto Stuffed Peppers (7 g carbs/serving)

This recipe is off of a list from Joy Filled Eats for low carb meals under $10. Here’s the H-E-B breakdown:

  • Yellow Peppers ($1.42 each, 2 per recipe= $2.84)
  • Garlic Salt ($1.16)
  • Ground Turkey ($3.59 per lb, 1 lb needed)
  • Ricotta Cheese ($1.74)
  • Mozzarella ($1.74)
  • Cherry Tomatoes ($1.52)

This meal’s total comes out to $12.57. So, not far off from that $10. To be fair, prices vary by store and location, so it’s not surprising the numbers don’t match up exactly.

I chose to pair this with Brussels sprouts (about 8 g carbs per serving), bringing our carb total to 14 g per serving.

Image taken from TheKitchn.com

4. Baked Chicken and Veggies (13.1 g carbs/serving)

According to Joy Filled Eats’ under $10 list, this should be another affordable low carb option. Let’s break it down with the help of my handy-dandy H-E-B app:

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts ($6.15 for 3 lbs, 1.5 lbs needed)
  • Broccoli Florets ($5.13 for 32 oz, 1.5 lbs needed)
  • Bag of Mixed Baby Bell Peppers ($2.86 for 1 lb bag)
  • Large Green Bell Peppers ($0.64 each, 2 per recipe= $1.28)
  • Olive Oil ($3.07)
  • Garlic Cloves (2 for $1.03, 4 per recipe= $2.06)
  • Dried Italian Seasoning ($3.07)
  • Salt ($0.41)
  • Ground Black Pepper ($1.48)

$20.38. Phew, that seems like a lot, right? Well, I already have olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, so that knocks off about $8. So approximately $12 is not nearly as bad. Much closer to that $10 mark.

I chose not to pair anything with this, since it has the protein and vegetables needed in it. Total carbs per serving: 13.1 g.

Image taken from JamHands.net.

5. Cheeseburger Meatloaf (2g carbs/serving)

Here’s one that I found off of another list of low-budget low-carb options.

  • Ground Beef ($3.08 per lb, 2 lbs needed= $6.16)
  • Eggs ($2.13 per carton, 2 eggs needed)
  • Grated Parmesan ($1.74)
  • Small Onion ($0.96)
  • Salt ($0.41)
  • Garlic Powder ($2.05)
  • Cheddar Cheese Block ($1.74)

So, our H-E-B total for this meal comes out to $15.19. I’m pairing this with cauliflower mash (8 g carbs per serving), and a side salad (approximately 5 g carbs per serving), bring our carb total to 15 per person.

Image taken from MostlyHomemadeMom.com.

6. Eggroll In a Bowl (10 g carbs/serving)

If you like egg rolls as much as I do, you might get excited about this one. (I did.) Here’s the tea on pricing:

  • Ground Sausage ($4.11 per lb, 1 lb needed)
  • Dry Coleslaw Mix ($1.82)
  • Garlic Cloves (2 for $1.03, 5 needed= $2.58)
  • Ground Ginger ($2.76)
  • Low Sodium Soy Sauce ($3.15)
  • Green Onion ($0.44)

The total price for this meal is $14.86! Not too shabby, mostly Homemade Mom! I’m not going to pair anything with this meal, either, so you win for cost-efficiency and carb goal!

7. Eat Out! (No seriously, just be smart about it.)

Here’s a list of low-carb options from some of our favorite fast food chains!

  • McDonalds: any sandwich/burger WITHOUT the bun. Seriously, just remove the bun, and eat it as is, wrapped in lettuce or in a low carb tortilla. (you might have to provide the last two for yourself).
  • Taco Bell: Mini Skillet Bowl (replace the potatoes with any meat of your choice, 5 g of carbs), Fiesta Taco Salad with Chicken (10 g carbs).
  • Chick-Fil-A: Grilled Nuggets 12 ct (3 g carbs), original Nuggets 8 ct (9 g carbs), Side Salad (6 g carbs) Grilled Market Salad (16 g carbs), Cobb Salad (16g carbs).

So what’s the total price?

With my shopper fee, sides, and basic staples (milk, coffee, bread, etc), my H-E-B total came out to $194.20. I knocked off $90 from the original meal plan! Remember, I already had a lot of the spices and oils used for cooking these meals, so my total may not be the same as yours. This also does not include whatever spent while eating out. (That’s a separate budget for us.)

Screenshot of my H-E-B total on June 4, 2020.

Share your favorite low-carb recipes with me at #mypinkjansport! I’m

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