The Carnivore Diet on a budget might seem like a challenge.
Meat is expensive. There’s no way around it. But you don’t have to break the bank while eating on the Carnivore Diet. With judicious shopping and creative tricks, the Carnivore Diet can fit any food budget.
Whether you’re just starting or a seasoned pro, these 13 tips and tricks will help you save money.
1. Buy cheaper cuts of meat.
You’ll save serious money by selecting the right cuts of meat. There is a huge difference in price across the different cuts.
WhatCarnivore doesn't love a ribeye steak? But there are more affordable options.
Here is a list that shows the cost of the most common cuts of beef. Don’t be afraid to consider the more expensive cuts as there are fluctuations in price based on demand, availability, and trends.
Generally, try to buy from the first two categories to save.
Cheapest Cuts of Beef
Moderate Cuts of Beef
Expensive Cuts of Beef
Top Round (London Broil)
Eye of Round
New York Strip
Keep your shopping list ready with the cheapest cuts of beef so you can jump on any sales at your local market.
2. Buy lower grades of meat.
You can also save money by purchasing lower grades of beef. The grading of meat has nothing to do with the safety or even quality of the meat.
The USDA designates grades based on the marbling (fat content) of a piece of beef. Marbling contributes to tenderness, flavor, and juiciness of a steak. The different grades of beef include Select, Choice, and Prime. A piece of meat that comes with the Prime designation will have the highest level of marbling.
This doesn’t mean that lower grades of beef don’t offer quality or flavor. The secret is knowing how to cook these tougher cuts of meat. A low-and-slow braise can make a Select piece of meat taste Prime!
3. Ground beef is your best friend.
Ground beef is the most cost effective way to gain the benefits of beef on the Carnivore Diet without breaking the bank.
Ground beef is easy and versatile. Throw it in a pan and sauté for a quick hit of beef. You can also make burgers, meatballs, or mix it into eggs. There are hundreds of ground beef Carnivore Diet recipes online.
Easy to freeze, defrost, and cook, ground beef is the workhorse of the Carnivore Diet on a budget.
4. Opt for grain fed versus grass fed.
Grass-fed beef costs approximately 50 to 100% more than grain-fed beef. You can save significant amounts by opting for grain-fed.
While there are benefits to grass-fed beef, any beef is better than no beef. If the options are grain-fed beef or no beef at all, grain-fed will always win.
5. Mix in cheaper options such as eggs, sardines, and beef organ meats such as beef liver.
The Carnivore Diet doesn’t mean you only eat beef. There are a range of animal-based food products that you can also include in your daily regimen.
Eggs are the top option. They make up for a lot of nutrients that beef muscle does not offer such as choline, vitamin K2, vitamin E, and selenium. If available, buy pasture raisedeggs that have higher nutritional counts.
Canned seafood is another cost effective option. Canned tuna is the most popular, but there are other options such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and anchovies. These are nutritional powerhouses and offer tremendous value. Tinned fish is high in omega 3, vitamin D, and Iodine. Make sure to buy options packed in water, not oil.
Another less traditional option is beef offal. Kidney, liver, and other organs are incredibly rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and protein. These more adventurous items might make some squeamish, but for the bold, these are a great value.
6. Buy meat on sale.
Local grocery stores frequently run sales. Stock up on your favorites when they become available.
This can be a great way to save on your workhouse cuts such as ground beef or chuck roll. It can also be a great way to splurge on the more expensive cuts without breaking the bank.
Make friends with your local butcher. They can help you find cuts that are less popular and less expensive. They might also have specials on cuts they need to move. Tell them that you’re living the Carnivore lifestyle and maybe they’ll help you out.
Don’t be afraid to purchase meat markdowns and soon-to-expire deals. You can save significant money by purchasing meat that has been marked down because it will expire in the near future. You can expect savings that range from 25-75% off.
7. Go direct to the source.
You can purchase meat directly from a local farm or rancher. You can find farmers or ranchers at your local farmers market or search your local area.
Ranchers will require larger orders, but the savings will be worth it. You can always freeze your extra meat.
You can also save with online meat delivery services. These subscription companies partner with local ranchers and sell meat options direct to the consumer. By cutting out the middleman, you benefit with the savings.
8. Buy in bulk at big box or warehouse stores.
Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Restaurant Depot. Enter any one of your favorite local wholesale stores.
Do you own a business? You can easily apply for free membership at restaurant wholesale retailers such as Restaurant Depot.
9. Don’t fear the freezer.
Use your freezer to preserve your savings when buying in bulk. When properly stored, frozen meat can last 6-12 months.
Vacuum-sealing your meat is the best way to preserve its freshness during long freezing periods.
10. Rotate through different protein sources.
Beef offers the most nutritional value for the Carnivore Diet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix other protein sources.
Popular options on the Carnivore Diet include poultry, pork, lamb, venison, and even exotic meats such as elk and buffalo.
11. Cook with bone-in cuts.
Price per pound, bone-in meat is always cheaper than boneless. The bones add some weight, but they’re much lighter than the meat. Less work goes into processing bone-in steaks, which means they come at a cheaper cost.
The connective tissue and fat around bones bring tremendous flavor and nutritional benefit. They also help certain cuts of beef cook more evenly.
12. Make bone broth.
You can use the leftover bones from your bone-in cuts to make homemade bone broth. Boil the bones in water to get a nutrient dense snack or meal.
Bone broth is an easy Carnivore Diet recipe that is delicious and comforting any time of year. You can sip the Carnivore bone broth on its own or mix it into a braise.
13. Eat 1-2 big meals a day.
The Carnivore Diet reduces binge eating and promotes intermittent fasting. You’ll quickly find on the Carnivore Diet that you need to eat less and eat less often.
Eating an all meat diet keeps you fuller longer. The high fat and protein content of the diet signals to your body that you are full. Many people on the Carnivore Diet report not needing to snack or eat three meals a day. Instead, they eat 1-2 large meals.
In the end, this means eating less and saving money in the long run.
Carnivore Diet Cost
The Carnivore Diet doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, with proper planning and judicious shopping, the exclusionary nature of the Carnivore Diet can save you money in the long run. As an example, let’s explore how much the Carnivore Diet costs when only eating ground beef.
Let’s assume the average person needs around 2,500 calories per day.
A four ounce serving of 80/20 ground beef contains 240 Calories, 21g Protein, 17g Fat, 0g Carb. You would need about 10.3 servings of ground beef to reach your daily calorie requirement of 2,500.
This would be about 2.5 pounds of ground beef a day.
The national average of ground beef at retail price is $4.33. At a price of $4.33 per pound, the daily consumption of 2.5 pounds of ground beef comes out to $10.83 per day on the Carnivore Diet.
That amount of money would barely cover lunch on a traditional diet. Layer in some additional cost savings tactics mentioned above and you can save even more.
When starting the Carnivore Diet, you might feel overwhelmed by the information. You might think it’s expensive to eat only meat, but in reality, it can be very affordable.
Another pro-tip? Mix in some Carnivore Diet beef jerky. Great for on-the-go snacking, this will keep you fueled on the Carnivore Diet. Check out our sugar-free, minimal ingredient beef jerky.
Shop Carnivore Beef Jerky
What did Joe Rogan eat on his carnivore diet? ›
Meat, fruit, and water are in Joe Rogan's carnivore diet. Since January is world carnivore month, Joe Rogan embarked on the carnivore diet in January 2020 and 2021. As the name suggests, the carnivore diet requires him to eat only meat or animal products such as eggs for the entire month.How many pounds of meat a day do carnivores eat? ›
The general rule, given my weight, was to eat about two pounds of meat a day. I ate mostly steak, but also chicken, salmon, and brisket. My wife, a veteran CrossFit participant, isn't a big fan of steak, but she does like salmon, brisket, and chicken, so I'd cook up several steaks along with some chicken or fish.How many eggs for breakfast carnivore diet? ›
How Many Eggs Can I Eat on a Carnivore Breakfast? You can eat up to 6 eggs for a carnivore breakfast.How long can you safely do carnivore diet? ›
The longest studies look at the health effects of the very low-carb, high-fat diet for six months at most. That isn't enough time to truly understand the benefits or risks of the carnivore diet over time. Many people who have followed the diet for greater than one year report their lab work is within healthy ranges.What veggies are OK on carnivore? ›
On a carnivore diet, you can eat red meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. The diet excludes all produce, as well as grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Dairy is sometimes allowed. No vegetables of any kind are allowed on the carnivore diet, not even nonstarchy types that would otherwise fit into other diets, such as keto.Can you eat oatmeal on carnivore diet? ›
Whole grains: The carnivore diet prohibits all whole grains, including brown rice, whole-wheat bread and pasta, and oatmeal. Foods like these are also good sources of fiber and other nutrients.Are you allowed coffee on carnivore diet? ›
On the one hand, coffee beans are the seed of a fruit, therefor coffee is basically fruit seed extract. Since carnivore means eating only meat and animal products, coffee is clearly not part of the carnivore diet food list.What carnivore has the highest success rate? ›
- African wild dogs - 85% successful kills. ...
- Black-footed cat - 60% successful kills. ...
- Cheetah - 58% successful kills. ...
- Leopard - 38% successful kills. ...
- Domestic cat - 32% successful kills. ...
- Lions - 25% successful kills. ...
- Wolves - 14% successful kills. ...
- Polar bear - 10% successful kills.
How Long Does It Take To Adapt? After doing this for 21 days, I can honestly say that a full transition would probably need at least 4-6 weeks. In the beginning, your body is working on getting fat adapted and the brain is being rewired to not crave carbs, and that could take quite a bit of time for some.What happens if you only eat meat for a week? ›
You might get scurvy, like a pirate. Cooked meat contains very little vitamin C, notes Donald Beitz, a nutritional biochemist at Iowa State University. Without the vitamin, scurvy would bring on rashes and gum disease, not to mention very bad breath. Moreover, meat lacks fiber, so you'd probably be constipated.
Are hard boiled eggs good on the carnivore diet? ›
Here are the top 3 reasons why eggs are great on the carnivore diet. Eggs are a nutrient-dense superfood loaded with high-quality proteins, fats, and numerous essential vitamins, minerals, and cholesterol. If you don't have egg allergies, enjoy the heck out of them!Is cheese allowed on carnivore diet? ›
Foods allowed on the Carnivore Diet include all meats and fish, eggs, bone marrow, butter, and lard, as well as small amounts of hard cheese and heavy cream.Can you eat scrambled eggs on carnivore diet? ›
Scrambled eggs is a crazy simple carnivore recipe that you can cook up anytime of day and usually in less than 5 minutes.Can you have bananas on carnivore diet? ›
Foods to Avoid on Carnivore Diet
Fruits: apples, oranges, bananas, berries, etc.
The carnivore diet bans vegetables, fruits, sugars, soy products, corn products, vegetable oil, MSG, additives, most dairy products, and most preservatives.Do you poop less on a carnivore diet? ›
It's completely normal to poop less frequently on a fiber-free carnivore diet. This is because meat takes longer to digest and assimilate than plant foods do. As your body adapts to your new diet, expect to experience a new pooping schedule.Should you have cheat days on carnivore? ›
If you're just starting out on carnivore, it's likely best to hold off on treat days until you're fully adapted to a diet of fatty meat. Treating yourself with high-carb foods from the outset can make it difficult to overcome your carb addiction, sugar cravings, and adaptation side effects.Is there anything sweet I can eat on carnivore diet? ›
What desserts can I eat on the carnivore diet? You can eat any dessert that's made with carnivore-friendly ingredients. These include eggs, egg yolks, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, butter, other types of low lactose dairy, and gelatin. There are lots of possibilities, but cheesecake is a hands-down favorite.Are cucumbers allowed on carnivore diet? ›
However, while they're not technically meat, vegetables can still be a part of your carnivore diet. Carrots, celery, and cucumbers are all great options that can help you reach your daily nutrient goals.Is yogurt OK on carnivore diet? ›
You can eat dairy items which are low in lactose (ex: butter and hard cheeses). However, carnivores restrict any dairy items containing lactose, which is a sugar. These include milk, yogurt and ice cream.
How many eggs can I eat on carnivore diet? ›
Every meal should contain between 4-6 eggs, and 0.75 to 1.5 lbs of steak. Eat two meals per day anytime of the day. Every 6th day is for re-feeding of carbohydrates.Can I eat avocado on carnivore? ›
Can you eat fruit on the carnivore diet? On paper, the answer here is no. However, non-sweet fruits like avocados (a fat we love!) and cucumbers are usually considered permissible.Is Honey carnivore friendly? ›
Advocating Against Honey in a Carnivore Diet:
Honey is a carbohydrate source (a combination of fructose and glucose, higher in fructose), and not a source of protein or fat in any way, so it doesn't qualify.
You'll likely experience some days where you aren't hungry at all, whereas other days you'll crave a huge meal for lunch or even breakfast. Appetite levels will fluctuate wildly during the first couple of days or even a week, so make sure you have access to a lot of carnivore-friendly food throughout the day.What milk is OK on carnivore diet? ›
Drink the milk fresh or make raw milk yogurt, kefir, and soft cheeses. Full fat raw milk is a great animal-based carbohydrate source that gives many people a major boost in digestive and metabolic health, a modified carnivore diet with raw dairy can be a game-changer.What alcohol can you have on the carnivore diet? ›
If you're a practicing or aspiring carnivore and you're wondering about alcohol, the short answer is that the carnivore diet and alcohol are not compatible. A carnivore diet meal plan is straightforward: only meat and other animal products like cheese and butter.Does carnivore diet make you age faster? ›
Looking at the long-term effects of high-animal-protein diets stretching over decades, it would be clear that this kind of diet accelerates aging and can increase the risk of aging-related diseases, including heart disease and cancer.What is the rarest carnivore? ›
|Rank||Common name||Scientific name|
|1||Polar bear||Ursus maritimus|
|2||Brown bear||Ursus arctos|
The carnivore diet does two things at once: It infuses the gut with the gut-healing benefits of bone broth while also eliminating harder-to-digest vegetables, legumes, grains, and nuts and seeds. In other words, it still allows a person to get beneficial nutrients while giving the gut a break from working so hard.
Why am I gaining weight on the carnivore diet? ›
Yes, like any diet, you can get fat on the carnivore diet if you consume too much food and do no exercise. If you overeat and sit on the couch all day, you will notice weight gain. It makes sense if you don't think about it. It's estimated that you need to burn about 3,500 calories per week to lose 1 pound.Why do I feel so good on carnivore diet? ›
Many carnivore diet enthusiasts claim that meat sharpens their minds. Meat contains nutrients known to help brain function, such as B12, Zinc, and iron. Not only that, many claim their mental health improved while on the diet. Without blood sugar crashes, your energy and mental stamina will improve.Can a person live on meat alone? ›
If we were to just chow down on steaks on their own, you would lose out on some of the vital nutrients the human body requires to function. Just as people get their nutrients from lots of different foods, you need to add in a few more varieties of meats.What are the side effects of a carnivore diet? ›
- Carnivore Diet Side Effect #1: Diarrhea.
- Carnivore Diet Side Effect #2: Constipation.
- Carnivore Diet Side Effect #3: Nausea.
- Carnivore Diet Side Effect #4: Feeling Hungry and Craving Sugar.
- Carnivore Diet Side Effect #5: Leg Cramps.
- Carnivore Diet Side Effect #6: Bad Breath.
A team of researchers at Loma Linda University in the United States has shown vegetarian men live for an average of 10 years longer than non-vegetarian men — 83 years compared to 73 years. For women, being vegetarian added an extra 6 years to their lives, helping them reach 85 years on average.How many times a day do you eat on a carnivore diet? ›
Eat as often and as much as you need to feel full. If you like to spread things out over the day, then stick with 3 meals while on a carnivore diet. On the other hand, if you like adding some fasting periods, then go with 2 or even just 1 meal.Can you eat rice on carnivore diet? ›
Wholegrains: The carnivore diet prohibits all wholegrains, including brown rice, wholemeal bread, pasta and oats. Foods like these are also good sources of fibre and other nutrients.Can you eat peanut butter on carnivore diet? ›
Can you eat peanut butter on a Carnivore Diet? No, peanut butter is not an animal product.Is lettuce OK on carnivore diet? ›
A modified carnivore diet approach will allow small amounts of certain low sugar plant foods like avocado, lettuce, and cucumber. Allowed foods on this diet style include: All meat and fish. Shellfish.What spices can you use on the carnivore diet? ›
High Oxalate Spices.
|Spice||Per 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml)||Per 10 grams|
|Cumin Seed, ground||10||100|
What snacks are allowed on carnivore diet? ›
- Beef liver crisps. Liver gets a bad reputation for being ill-tasting, but it doesn't have to be. ...
- Grass-fed butter. Yes, really. ...
- Eggs. You'll love the idea of these, right? ...
- Pork rinds. ...
- Bone broth. ...
- Protein powder. ...
- Deli meats.
This can be salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines or anchovies. Tinned is fine but opt for them in springwater over oil. If you are not big on fish, a tablespoon of high-quality cod liver oil works, too. If you are feeling fancy you can also include salmon roe.How do you start a carnivore diet for beginners? ›
- Sugar-free bacon.
- Sausages (pork, chicken, or turkey)
- Pork: chops, roasts, and belly.
- Steak: porterhouse, ribeye, top side, filet, t-bone, flank.
- Ground beef.
- Organ meats: liver, kidney, heart, tongue, sweetbreads.
- Bone marrow.
There is no existing research to support a carnivore diet as a valuable tool for reducing your risk of disease or promoting fat loss. In fact, a carnivore lifestyle might do more harm than good due to concerns around poor nutrient intake and increased heart health risks.Are there any downsides to the carnivore diet? ›
Carnivore Diet Cons. The cons of going carnivore are the lack of vitamins and minerals, it's high in fat, sodium and cholesterol and it has zero fiber. The Carnivore Diet is not safe because we do not know the long-term effects. It restricts many more important food groups for your health and wellness.How long should you do the carnivore diet to see results? ›
How Long Does It Take To Adapt? After doing this for 21 days, I can honestly say that a full transition would probably need at least 4-6 weeks. In the beginning, your body is working on getting fat adapted and the brain is being rewired to not crave carbs, and that could take quite a bit of time for some.How do you feel first week of carnivore? ›
You'll likely experience some days where you aren't hungry at all, whereas other days you'll crave a huge meal for lunch or even breakfast. Appetite levels will fluctuate wildly during the first couple of days or even a week, so make sure you have access to a lot of carnivore-friendly food throughout the day.What do doctors think of the carnivore diet? ›
“Even if you have digestive issues, this diet can make things worse with all that protein and fat, which takes a lot longer to digest.” The carnivore diet is high in saturated fats which can cause elevated LDL or bad cholesterol and put you at risk for heart disease.Can you have cheese on carnivore diet? ›
Foods allowed on the Carnivore Diet include all meats and fish, eggs, bone marrow, butter, and lard, as well as small amounts of hard cheese and heavy cream.Is peanut butter OK on carnivore diet? ›
Can you eat peanut butter on a Carnivore Diet? No, peanut butter is not an animal product.
Is carnivore diet hard on kidneys? ›
Additionally, a high-protein diet (such as the carnivore diet) can be harmful to the kidneys—and can even promote gout and kidney stones.Can you have coffee on carnivore diet? ›
On the one hand, coffee beans are the seed of a fruit, therefor coffee is basically fruit seed extract. Since carnivore means eating only meat and animal products, coffee is clearly not part of the carnivore diet food list.What vegetables are OK on carnivore diet? ›
Adding vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and kale may sometimes be required, despite the fact that they are technically prohibited by the diet. When it comes to energy before exercise, sweet potatoes and apples are best advised.