Click here to join Dr. Kiltz’s FREE Keto + Carnivore Support Community – Kiltz’s Mighty Tribe.

Close Announcement

We include products in articles we think are useful for our readers. If you buy products or services through links on our website, we may earn a small commission.

Carnivore Diet on a Budget

By Liam McAuliffe Updated on

If you’re interested in beginning a carnivore diet you might be wary of how much it will cost. Meat has never been cheap, and along with everything else these days, the price is rising. However, it’s more than possible to go carnivore without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll explore tips and strategies for doing the carnivore diet on a budget. 

Table of Contents

Smart Tips For Carnivore Diet on a Budget

Below are six budget-friendly tips that can dramatically reduce the cost of going carnivore. 

  1. Try organ meats, eggs, and other underrated foods
  2. Use tallow and suet for cooking
  3. Go for cheaper, fattier meat
  4. Opt for bone-in cuts
  5. Eat only one or two meals a day
  6. Shop around

Organ Meats

A well-formulated carnivore diet meal plan doesn’t mean eating only the most popular cuts of steak like ribeye and filet mignon. Both our cavemen ancestors from whom the carnivore diet is derived, and modern carnivore dieters enjoy a variety of animal products on their food list. Thankfully, some are much cheaper than others. 

Organ meats are among nature’s most underrated superfoods. They are the most nutrient-dense, yet some of the cheapest foods available. Making them the perfect carnivore diet on a budget hack. 

Many grocery stores and butcher shops sell beef liver and other organs  for $1-2 a pound. Even organic, grass-fed  beef liver is relatively affordable compared to muscle meat.  

If you’ve tried liver, experienced its impressive benefits and are curious about other organ meats, here are a few more budget-friendly options : 

Research suggests that eating a given animal organ may nourish that very same organ within your body. In spite of these uniquely powerful benefits, organ meats remain dirt-cheap. [1

A great place to shop for high-quality fresh grass-fed organ meats is U.S. wellness meats.

GRASS-FED, PASTURE-RAISE BEEF ORGAN SUPPLEMENTS

Eggs

Eggs may be the cheapest whole-animal food out there. An egg contains every nutrient needed to produce a future chicken. Eggs are rich in several nutrients that beef is lacking, including vitamin K2 and vitamin E. 

Just as with beef liver, even high-quality eggs are pretty affordable. [2]  

Tallow and Suet for Budget Carnivore Cooking

Lard and tallow are two of the most carnivore-friendly cooking fats. They’re also two of the cheapest. Both fats go for just $1-2 per pound — less if you befriend your local butcher. Making them one of the cheapest foods per calorie. 

Lard and beef tallow are also incredibly satiating. Eating these fats can support you in cutting back on other foods, saving you more money. 

As an added plus, the stearic saturated fatty acids  in tallow are great for your health. Research shows that their intake promotes mitochondrial fission, a process where mitochondria orient themselves towards burning visceral fat for fuel. [3

Go for Cheaper, Fattier Cuts of Meat

Low-fat misinformation means that many people today seek leaner cuts of meat. The upside to the faulty diet dogma means that fattier cuts of meat are often surprisingly cheap. 

Cheap cuts 

Moderate cuts 

Expensive cuts

Ground beef

Chuck roast

Stew meat

Top Round 

Bottom Round

Eye of Round

Skirt Steak

Ribeye

T-Bone

New York Strip

Filet Mignon

Flank Steak

If push really comes to shove, you can save additional money by selecting lower grades of beef. 

Contrary to conventional wisdom, lower-grade beef isn’t necessarily less safe or even lower quality. The USDA’s grading system is based on the marbling, tenderness, and flavor of any given cut. Even the chewiest piece of beef can become melt-in-your-mouth tender if it’s cooked right (low and slow is the way to go). 

  • Cheapest option: Select grade
  • Moderate option: Choice grade
  • Priciest option: Prime grade

Opt for Bone-in Cuts

Bone-in beef is almost always cheaper than boneless, even when you factor in the weight of the bones you’re not able to eat. 

And these marrow bones are nutritiously valuable when it comes to making homemade bone broth.

Eat One or Two Meals a Day 

Perhaps the simplest way to do the carnivore diet on a budget is to eat less often. 

By incorporating intermittent fasting and eating one or two big, carnivorous meals a day, you’ll be able to stay satiated while saving big. The Omad Diet plan outlines the way to eat once a day, while 16/8 fasting is often the best method for people just starting out. 

The high fat and protein content of a carnivore diet is so satiating that many people fall into this type of meal frequency naturally. 

Shop Around

It pays to buy in bulk for most items, and carnivore-friendly foods are no exception. Apps like Instacart are great for searching bulk deals, allowing you to compare prices of similar items across different stores.

Below are several more places to find volume deals:

  • Costco
  • Local farms
  • Your local butcher

Many farms and butcher shops allow you to buy anywhere from a quarter-cow to a whole cow at a time, often for a steep discount. 

Once acquired you can then piece your cow, store in a chest freezer,  and thaw what you need each week. Whole cows can be expensive up-front, sure — but some people have found a workaround by combining their buying power with like-minded family or friends.  

Top 8 Budget-Friendly Carnivore Diet Foods

These 8 excellent animal-based foods will keep you on budget while increasing your intake of vital nutrients.

1. Beef Liver

raw liver on serving stone with knife salt and dill

Beef liver can be found at many major grocery stores for less than $3/lb. Local farms are often willing to give you an even better deal. 

With online grocery shopping, you can have fresh beef liver delivered for only $1.79 per pound.

The nutrients per cost become pretty astounding. For 100 grams, or $.39 cents, you can nourish your body with: 

BASED ON 100 GRAMS
Calories135
Fat3.6g
Protein20.4g
VITAMINS%Daily Value
Vitamin A  

Folate 

Niacin

Riboflavin

Vitamin B6  

Vitamin B12  

Vitamin D  

MINERALS

Iron 

Phosphorus

Zinc  

Copper

Manganese 

Selenium

Choline

4968μg

290μg

13.2mg

2.8mg

1mg

59.3μg

1.2μg

4.9mg

387mg

4mg

9.8mg

0.3mg

39.7μg

333.3mg

552%73%

66%

163%

84%

2471%

8%

62%

39%

27%

488%

16%

57%

61%

 

Affordable carnivore diet foodPrice Total CaloriesCalories per dollarProtein Per dollarFat per dollar
Fresh Beef Liver (1  lb)$1.7986348274.5g13.4g

Desiccated liver supplements are pretty affordable, too and often sourced from grass-fed New Zealand cattle–the healthiest and most nutritious beef on the planet. Another perk of supplements is that they save you time and costs by not cooking. 

2. Ground Beef

Many carnivore proponents, including Dr. Shawn Baker, say that a cheap carnivore diet of mostly ground beef and eggs is still far better than conventional eating. 

Even ‘average’-quality ground beef contains a variety of heart-healthy compounds, including creatine, carnitine, taurine, and heme iron. [4]

Here are some words of wisdom from 5-year carnivore Reanna Percifield:

“Buy on sale and freeze. Don’t buy dairy. Buy ground beef. Buy less expensive cuts of beef like a roast. Chicken and pork are inexpensive, but I wouldn’t recommend eating it so much that you aren’t eating red meats like beef, lamb, and bison. I feel red meats are the most nutritious.”

Reanna supplements this simple diet with a select few supplements, including electrolyte water, ox bile, and grass-fed organ supplements. She only spends $250 a month on food. [5

Simple Truth’s 3lb pack of organ beef is just $6.33 a pound.

Affordable carnivore diet foodPrice Calories per dollarProtein Per dollarFat per dollar
Simple Truth Organic 80/20 Ground Beef (3lb pack)$18.9915113.2g10.74g

3. Sardines

Sardines are fatty fish that’s cheap, convenient, and ultra-nutritious keto/car. They’re one of the few commonly-available foods that contain edible bones, which also makes them a great source of calcium. 

Sardines get precisely half of their calories from fat and half from protein. Just be sure to select a sardines brand that doesn’t infuse their products with inflammatory industrial seed oils.  

We’ve found the 12 pack of  Wild Planet sardines packed in extra virgin olive oil to be a great bulk buy. 

Affordable Carnivore Diet FoodPrice Total CaloriesCalories per dollarProtein Per dollarFat per dollar
Wild Planet Sardines (1 tin)$2.30170748g4.5g

4. Atlantic Mackerel

Atlantic Mackerel keto fish

Mackerel is one of the most nutrient-dense fish you can eat, rich in vitamin D, omega 3’s, and highly-bioavailable protein. It’s also one of the most affordable seafoods available. 

At $2.78, single can of Crown Prince Mackerel provides a tremendous 14865 mg of Omega-3’s. 

Affordable carnivore diet foodPrice Total CaloriesCalories per dollarProtein Per dollarFat per dollar
Crown Prince Mackerel (15 oz. can)$2.78 47817217.6g11.5g

5. Eggs

At the cheapest end of the spectrum, just 2 eggs ($.40 cents) when buying in bulk at Costco provides:

Nutrients per 2 large eggs (100g)
Fat10grams
Protein12grams
Vitamin B12100%
Vitamin B530%
Vitamin E30%
Vitamin D30%
Vitamin A20%
Choline108%

As we explained earlier, eggs balance out the nutritional profile of ruminant animals almost perfectly. While not necessarily recommended, a diet composed solely of eggs and beef would cover many of one’s nutritional bases. 

Affordable carnivore diet foodPrice Calories per dollarProtein Per dollarFat per dollar
Costco Eggs  (60 count )$11.6822419.2g16g

6. Beef Tallow

Beef Tallow

Tallow is loaded with healthy fats and fat soluble vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K, and vitamin E. Together they play a key roll in growth,  immune support, antioxidant protection. [9]

And all this for an incredibly low price. When buying in bulk 8 lbs of premium grass fed tallow can run you about $50

Affordable carnivore diet foodPrice Calories per dollarProtein Per dollarFat per dollar
Greener Life Essentials Beef tallow (8lb tub)$49.995890g67g

7. Pork Belly

Pork belly is a delicious, zero-nitrite alternative to bacon. It’s also very high in selenium.

Swift’s pork belly comes in at just under $5 per pound. 

Affordable carnivore diet foodPrice Total Calories per unitCalories per dollarProtein Per dollarFat per dollar
Swift Boneless Pork Belly (10lb)$49.96232004645g48g 

8. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a tasty, nutrient-dense keto cheese. It’s also among the cheapest cheeses out there. 

A budget-friendly 3lb tub of Philadelphia cream cheese provides 432 grams of whole food dairy fat — and 5,280 calories — for less than ten dollars 

Affordable carnivore diet foodPrice Calories per dollarProtein Per dollarFat per dollar
Philadelphia Cream Cheese (3lb tub)$9.945319.7g43.4g

Carnivore Diet Cost: One week of Carnivore Diet on a Budget

Here’s a sample breakdown of a weekly carnivore diet on a budget shopping list. You can get a nutrition-packed 2700 calories per day for less than $12 a day. 

FoodCalorie contentPrice
Ground Beef5738$37.98
Pork Belly (2lb)4640$9.99
Cream cheese2600$4.97
Eggs 2598$11.68
Tallow (½ lb)1840$3.12
Beef liver863$1.79
Sardines510$6.90
Mackerel478$2.78
19267  total calories$79.21 total cost
2,752 calories/day$11.28/day

Carnivore Diet on a Budget: The Bottomline 

Many meats and animal products are expensive, yet with a budget-conscious strategy an affordable carnivore lifestyle is surprisingly easy to achieve. Inexpensive carnivore staples like liver, eggs, ground beef, and tallow are loaded with highly bioavailable nutrients that your body needs to for optimal health. And they all come in at less than $10 a pound. 

Carnivore tips and tricks include:

  • Buying in bulk
  • Using beef fats for cooking
  • Opting for fatty, bone-in cuts
  • Practicing intermittent fasting
  • Finding the best deals

When following these guidelines it is rather easy to achieve impressive values: 

  • An average of $4 per 1,000 calories
  • Between  $50-100/week for 2500 daily calories. 

 

© 2022 DOCTOR ROBERT KILTZ. ALL RIGHT RESERVED