How To Do the Carnivore Diet On A Budget

Can you eat only ground beef on the Carnivore Diet?

Answer: Yes, there are plenty of people who follow an all-meat diet by only eating ground beef. If you are on a budget, the Carnivore Diet can be followed for under $6 per day.

Eating only ground beef is not encouraged though as this approach is not a well-rounded, nose-to-tail carnivorous diet. There are many nutritious parts of the animal that can be found at inexpensive prices and this diversity will ensure most nutrient needs are filled.

Fortunately, the Carnivore diet is one of the cheapest diets to follow, and you will likely look forward to eating this way.

There are many great options for doing a carnivore diet on a budget.

The foods allowed on a carnivore diet cost much less than you would expect, and these foods more often have a higher energy content than foods costing an equal amount that you were likely eating before.

Some carnivore followers only eat ground beef and seem to thrive. Ground beef is cheap, so many of them live on less than $5.99/day. It would be difficult to find another diet that allows you to get by on only $6 per day and still enjoy what you are eating.

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Some of the cheapest foods to buy on a carnivore diet are:

  • Ground beef
  • Eggs
  • Pork
  • Organ Meats
  • Dairy

I go into each of these foods more in-depth below.

Are these cheap foods healthy?

Yes, for most people, these foods are more than enough to be successful on the carnivore diet. Many people on budgets find refuge by following a carnivore diet because this diet is by far less expensive than some ways of eating.

By eating organ meats, most possible vitamin needs will be met. Your protein goals will be achieved if you are eating at least 1 lb of meat per day.

And the essential Omega 3 fats in the diet will come from meat if it is pastured or from the eggs if they have been pasture-raised. 

Always ensuring you get enough fat on this diet is essential because the body will be completely fat-adapted when you have adjusted to the carnivore diet, and when in ketosis, the body is primed to run on these fats. 

Some glucose will, of course, be produced through gluconeogenesis, which is where the proteins are converted to glucose and used or stored. 

Ground Beef

Many followers of Carnivore do only eat ground beef and burger patties as their primary calories.

This choice works because ground beef is very cheap and the cheaper variants have the most fat, which is what we want more of.

Ground beef can be purchased in the store on sale for as little as $1.99/lb when buying in bulk. It’s likely you will not eat above 2 lbs of meat per day, so the daily amount you spend on food is under $5!

Consuming more than 2 pounds per day can make it difficult to maintain the proper fat to protein ratio needed to feel good on a carnivore diet. 

Eating only ground beef many not be a nose-to-tail carnivore diet, but it will get the job done and can help you get adapted if you are beginning.

Ground beef is also an easy option to order when at a restaurant. Order three plain burger patties, top them with butter, and you have yourself a tasty fulfilling meal.

Eggs

Eggs are a no brainer. Locally raised eggs can be had for $2.99/dozen and will make an excellent addition to the steak.

Eggs scrambled with ground beef adds variety and texture that makes dull ground beef more appealing. Eggs are a great source of nutrition too if you handle them well.

There are Omega 3 fats in well-raised hens, and these fats are essential to our brains. The EPA and DHA contained in the eggs will keep you feeling good on this diet.

As long as you do not have cholesterol problems, the cholesterol contained in the eggs makes for another beneficial addition to this food choice.

Eggs are a simple food to cook, so having these on hand allows you to have some diversity and make foods in a rush.

Pork

Purchasing pork over beef can be a great idea, as it is usually half the price of beef.

There are many great options for buying pork, and fatty cuts are delicious.

Pork shoulder can be purchased at the local butcher for $2.99/lb and will fill you up. If you speak with your butcher, there are likely cuts you can get for even cheaper.

These are the cuts considered less valuable to most people, so butchers usually use these products in the processed things they make, like sausage, where they then charge more for because of the extra work involved.

Pigs may not be ruminant animals, but well-raised pigs can provide a great source of good meat that tastes good.

Fat Trimmings

One of the most common misnomers on the Carnivore Diet is that we primarily need meat.

While meat is great, we need fat much more.

I always purchase the fattiest meat I can get when I find local, pasture-raised animals.

These fats are vital to keeping a high ratio of fats to protein, and by maintaining a high proportion, you will feel much better physically and cognitively, as the body has fuel to run on instead of protein. 

This is great for carnivores because most people hate having fat on their meats, and because of this, the butcher cuts as much away from most meats as possible.

The meat that is cut away is used in other products like sausages, but you can also buy these fat trimmings by speaking with your butcher. 

These trimmings are very inexpensive and can be had for $0.99/lb if you are friendly to the butcher.

He may even give them to you, as it is common to throw the fat trimmings out.

Use these trimmings in your ground beef or add them to any food you are eating. I prefer these animal fats to butter on my food, especially if I grill the fats with my steak.

Organ Meats

As we’ve said before, beef liver and other organs are possibly the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.

There are many vitamins in beef liver that go well above the suggested RDA values. 

Luckily, Americans do not eat organ meats often, so these cuts are very cheap at the butcher.

Beef liver costs only $0.99/lb, and beef heart and kidneys cost about $1.50/lb. 

Eating organ meats provides you with a well-rounded all-meat without the need to supplement with any vitamins.

I usually request to have liver, kidney, and heart ground up and mixed. I then cook it in a pressure cooker, because this method is less damaging to the meat.

This mix is too lose to form patties out of unless you combine it with ground beef, but it makes an excellent addition to any food I may be having.

The only downside is that there aren’t many fats in organ meats, so you must be cognizant of adding in some butter or tallow.

Dairy

If you choose to keep dairy in your diet, you likely know how cheap butter can be purchased for.

Butter makes a tasty addition to almost any meats you can cook, and good butter has organic micronutrients. 

Many people chose to use ghee on their meats instead of butter because it is a clarified form of butter than may be less likely to cause problems in those sensitive to dairy proteins and sugars, like whey and lactose. 

Another dairy option that is cheap and remains very popular in the ketogenic community is heavy whipping cream.

Many keto dieters pour heavy cream onto their foods, as it is very high in fat, cheap, and tastes like ice cream.

Heavy whipping cream is the closest you will get to ice cream while on a carnivore diet.

Buy in Bulk

One of the most effective ways to save substantial amounts of money on the Carnivore Diet is to purchase meat in bulk.

You can save half your money by buying meats in larger packaging that are on sale.

If you have a large freezer, I suggest purchasing a half-cow or quarter-cow. This will fill your entire freezer, and I recommend having two freezers to hold it all.

The cost savings you will get is enough to justify buying a spare freezer, though!

A local, pasture-raised cow can be purchased for as little as $1.25/lb when buying half a cow.

You will end up with about 220 lb of meat in your freezer, enough to last many months on a carnivore diet.

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