Banting on a Budget

“Banting is expensive!” Our users dispel this myth by proving that no matter who you are, there is no excuse to eat cheap, processed carbs and sugar-laden products.

“If you only eat steaks, you’ll always find it expensive to eat meat.” Says Caroline McCann, from Braeside Meat Market, who encourages nose-to-tail eating and also recommends that you ask your butcher for the cuts you remember from childhood. “It’s a myth that Banting is expensive,” she says “Many Banters will tell you that they actually eat less at meal times as eating good animal fats satisfies them for longer than carbs.”

The first mistake most newbie Banters make is to think they need to stock up on expensive nut flours, coconut oil, nut butters, baked goods, xylitol, etc. These are all great and make the transition period much easier to deal with, but you do not need to have all the fancy stuff in order to Bant properly. Banting is about eating real food and avoiding processed, pre-packaged goods filled with sugar and other nasties.

Banters have kindly offered advice from their Banting experience, and we have compiled this list below on how to do a cost effective shop.

Do your research.

Compare prices of all the popular products at each supermarket. You can do this by looking at the specials in the newspapers, or you can search online by looking at the various supermarket websites. You can score some major bargains this way.

Buy in bulk.

Buying in bulk usually works out a lot cheaper than buying smaller quantities, especially if you are cooking for a family. If there are one or two of you, many bulk items can also be frozen. Bulk items include meat, cheese, cream, and vegetables.

Buy your fruit and vegetables from a fruit and veg shop, from markets or a farmer.

Fruit and veg shops usually have weekly specials – so make sure that you keep up to date with these so as not to lose out. Saturday markets, for example, get their produce from smaller farmers so you will also be supporting local businesses and ensuring that your produce is of better quality and less chemically tainted.

Eat vegetables that are in season.

Out of season produce is ridiculously expensive because it generally has to be imported from other countries. Seasonal vegetables are full of more nutrients because they have just been picked and have been allowed to grow naturally.

Eat eggs every day.

Prof Noakes will tell you that the most important thing to do would be to fill up on a big breakfast, but only if you are hungry, as this will sustain you for most of the day. “Eggs are one of the best foods you can eat,” he says. “Next to liver, they are one of the most nutritious foods on earth.” All the nutrients we need, except for vitamin C, are found in eggs.

We have many egg recipes for you to choose from on the RMR platform.

Swap bacon for pork rashers.

Pork rashers are far cheaper than bacon, and you can even ask your butcher to cut them as thickly or thinly as you prefer. They can become a staple of your breakfast. You can render the fat from your rashers, store it, and use it instead of butter or oil. You can add the rashers to soups or stocks for extra flavour.

Buy chicken wings and drumsticks instead of chicken breasts.

You can grill the chicken pieces and eat them just like that with some veggies or remove the meat from the bones to use in salads or to bulk up other dishes such as a Banting “pasta” dish with courgetti or cabbage strips. Make a broth from the leftover bones, which you can freeze and defrost whenever you get peckish, or you can use it as a base for soups or gravies.

Swap expensive steak for cheaper cuts like chuck or shin.

Cheaper cuts are actually tastier because they generally contain more fat. Increased fat content can reduce your meat consumption as it will make you fuller quicker.

Use all parts of the animal.

Anastasia Surridge, from Australia, is on a tight budget and she has come up with a lot of creative ways to still eat delicious food for less. One of her tips is to use liver and heart as you can buy these cheaply. She recommends that you add them to broth as it imparts a meatier flavour. Anastasia says, “Make sure you roast the heart first to brown it, then add it to the stock, for a richer flavour. Take the heart and liver out afterwards, and chop them up finely and add them to your mince for a delicious, and very nourishing, hamburger patty. It stretches the mince a long way. I have a hand-cranked mincer (bought for cheap online), and I mince the heart and liver that way.”

Eat cheap fish.

Sardines are one of the most nutritious foods, and tinned sardines are relatively cheap. Fresh sardines are too. Scour your supermarket or local fishery for cheap, fresh fish. Examples of cheap fish include Jaco Pever and snoek.

Cutting costs can be done, especially when you add a healthy dose of creativity to your meals.

Next week we’ll discover new ways on how you can save money from your own kitchen.

Set aside Sunday to get your prep done for the week so that you don’t have to stress about what you’re eating after a busy work day.

Cook in bulk.

Once you have done your bulk shopping, as per our tip in part one, you can spend an afternoon turning your treasure into tasty dishes fit for royalty. Ideas include crustless quiches, big pots of stew, curry or soup, and liver pate, which can then all be frozen for hassle-free meals. Why not involve the whole family and turn it into fun bonding time?

Mince your meat.

One of our Banters orders half a pig at a time from the butcher and asks for the shoulder and leg to be minced. She says that she gets a lot of mince from doing this and then makes meatballs, which she puts into lunch boxes and adds to salads with a dollop of homemade Banting mayo. You can also make a tomato sauce and plop the meatballs in, to have on top of some courgetti, cabbage strips or cauli-mash. Also use mince as a replacement for other cuts of meat. Make sure you have enough freezer space for all that meat!

Grow your own vegetables.

Do some research and figure out what vegetables can best be grown in your home, whether you live in a flat or have a garden. You may never have to worry about running out of cauliflower or avos ever again.

Make your own yoghurt.

Anastasia Surridge, from Australia, is on a tight budget and she has come up with a lot of creative ways to still eat delicious food for less. One of her tips is to make your own yoghurt from full cream milk (sachets are cheaper). Anastasia says, “Heat milk to scalding and then let cool to blood temperature. Add half a small container of Greek yoghurt (you know, like 125ml size, the little ones that are cheap). Mix together really well, pour into a milk jug, then wrap in a couple of towels and put into an insulated shopping bag. Put an empty jar in the bag as well, and keep it full of boiling water, allowing it to cool down to keep the yoghurt warm. In 24 hours you'll have yoghurt. If you want to make it thicker, get some calico and line a colander with it, pour the yoghurt into it and drain a while in the fridge. When it's the desired consistency, feed the whey to your plants (they LOVE it!) and keep the rest sealed in the fridge. Cheap yoghurt!

Make your own butter.

Kim Blom cooks for a family of seven on a tight budget. She says that she only buys fresh cream when she wants to make butter as litre bottles cost less and it works out cheaper than buying a block of butter.

Make your own coconut milk.

Coconut milk can also be quite pricey. You can make your own with unsweetened desiccated coconut and water. Heat water just before boiling. Add coconut and water to a blender and blend on high for a few minutes until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. Allow to cool and then strain through a cheesecloth. Store the milk in a sterilised container in the fridge for 3 – 4 days.

Render your own fat.

Rendering your own fat is an easy and cheap way to make lard (rendered pork fat) – and plus if you get cheap cuts of spek you can turn it into crackling for a yummy snack.

Use cabbage instead of lettuce.

Kim Blom offers another tip and says that cabbage is her staple for salads because it’s cheaper, lasts longer in the fridge, which minimises waste, and it is crunchier, tastier and more nutritious than lettuce. Cabbage is also a great substitute for courgetti or can be used as a wrap.

Swap almond flour and coconut flour for sunflower seeds and flaxseed.

Almond flour and coconut flour come at a huge price. Make your own flour by grinding sunflower seeds or flaxseeds in a coffee grinder and substituting for expensive flours in your baking.

Freeze avos.

The price of avo skyrockets when out of season. A Banter told us that some people eat avos frozen out of the shell and find them delicious that way. If that’s not your thing you can mash the avo, add some lemon, salt and pepper and freeze it to add as an extra fat to dishes like crustless quiches, on top of burger patties, in smoothies, or as a dip with crudités.

The number one rule of Banting is to eat real food. By following the tips above, and in our previous post, you will not only ensure that you are getting a well-balanced diet, but you will prove that Banting doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Keeping it simple is the secret to success.

Sign up to our Online Program for more great tips like these from the members of the forum and a variety of recipes and meal plans that will not only help you save money, but time too.

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