Keto in Malaysia: Budget Tips that Work Here

keto in malaysia

The first time I did keto, I lost about 12kg. It’s the only diet that worked for me so far. Who knew that a high fat low carb diet can be this efficient?

I have since regained some of that weight so I’m doing keto again. This time around, I notice there are more people doing keto in Malaysia. And many of them complain about the same thing: all those good fat you have to eat to get into ketosis are so expensive!

So here are some budget tips that personally worked for me.

#1 – Know the cheap good fats, and know them well

Cheap and good sources of fat are 1) eggs and 2) santan. I will always have them in my pantry, and they’re super versatile.

My favourite egg-based meal is just plain omelette (plus whatever I have available) while my favourite santan-based meal is gulai #nogoripride

Combine with one or two oil/butter-heavy veggie side dishes of your choice and done.

Be okay with eating a lot of these, especially if your budget is really, really tight. Keto meals costing RM2 or less per meal is completely doable with these two ingredients.

#2 – Get a hand blender set

Image credit: Lazada.com.my

I have this exact type of hand blender and I love it so much! One of my ‘worth-it’ purchases for sure!

Related: Going Through All My Lazada Purchases, Since 2014

It has three detachable components – one for hand blender, one for whisk and another for food processor.

Meals I made with the hand blender

  • Cream-based soups – just add everything in the rice cooker then blend it right there
  • Protein shakes – I mix coconut oil or cream in my protein shakes for a super quick keto meal

Meals I made with the whisk

  • Mayonnaise – tried it, it works. I like kewpie better though so I stopped doing this
  • Whipped cream – Add a bit of matcha powder or cocoa powder + sweetener and mmm it’s the best thing to counter that sugar withdrawal
  • Cloud bread – whisk egg whites until it peaks, then bake it. You get ‘bread’

Meals I made with the food processor

  • Cauliflower rice – Lightly steam cauliflowers then whizz it up here. Way faster than chopping it up. I make mock nasi goreng with this
  • Almond flour – Not technically a meal, I know. But almond flour is very versatile for many keto recipes and doing it this way is cheaper. The result is not as fine as usual almond flour but my almond bread always turn out well, so
  • Chicken/Tuna mayo – Pick a protein (ie boiled chicken breast), add mayo, add half an onion, add salt and pepper and anything else you want. Whizz it. Scoop and eat with salad. Yum

This particular gadget has saved me so much money and more importantly, frustration. It made keto in Malaysia easier for me. I bought mine from Lazada.

Do you have any other recipes to share, that use the above gadget? Please comment!

#3 – You DON’T have to buy every single keto-friendly ingredient!

I made this mistake. I went to the supermarket and went crazy – bought hundreds of ringgit worth of ingredients at one shot. Everything from oils to cheeses to butters to low-carb fruits to avocados. I swear I heard my wallet went ‘ouch’.

Now, I kinda know which ingredients are expensive BUT have a lower cost per serving. These are:

  • Butter: RM8ish for a stick of pure butter; I use like 50 cents’ worth per meal
  • Coconut oil: one RM38 bottle lasts me months
  • Almonds: 1kg is enough to make me around 7 loaves of almond bread. Each loaf cost about RM8 or so in almond cost price, and I go through about 1 loaf per week.
  • Cream: 1-liter pack is enough for many, many coffees and many, many protein shakes, with spare for cocoa whipped cream too
  • Mayo: They tend to last a while
  • Peanut butter: For quick snacking
  • Antibiotic-free chicken: I make roast chicken, chicken mayo, then use the bones to make chicken broth
  • Canned tuna: Tuna mayo is always delicious with salad and almond bread

If you stick to the above, RM10 or less in food cost per day is completely doable. Bulk up your meals with veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, salad, eggplant, zucchini and other low-carb veggies.

Next section is ingredients that I know are expensive and only buy when there’s a special occasion, a good sale or BOGOF deal (that’s ‘buy one get one free’). These have HIGH cost per serving (at least in my experience):

  • Good cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Fancy dips
  • Avocados
  • Red meats
  • Fatty fish like salmon

There are more not included in this list, but the point is – prioritise expensive ingredients that have lower cost per meal.  What else would you add to the lists above?

#4 – Please invest in fibre

Get chia seeds – one tablespoon every morning. That’ll do. Just chug it down with water. You can also combine with santan (Tip #1) and make chia seed pudding. See next section on where I buy my chia seed. Do this, your bowels will thank me.

#5 – Make notes of places that sell expensive ingredients at lower costs

For example, I buy raw almonds from Lazada for RM50-57 per kilo; they can easily cost 20-50% more in the supermarkets. Bagus Baking also sells almond (ground, sliced, whole) for RM41.90 per kilo. I used to have a bad experience with Bagus products so I don’t buy there, but go ahead, that was years back.

I also buy chia seed from Lazada, it’s way cheaper there!

A mutual friend of mine said she and her friends buy their butter from SupplyBunny in bulk (I haven’t tried this).

The shirataki noodles pack below is RM3-4, the cheapest I know in this category. But tbh I prefer zoodles if I crave pasta or mee goreng – just get a RM3.50 Julienne peeler from Mr DIY and a zucchini and you’re good to go.

If you live in Klang Valley, it’s worth browsing in HappyFresh – the grocery delivery service (note: referral link; you get free delivery on your first order; minimum RM50). I’ve used them enough times to truthfully report back that on the whole, it’s a good service, even if my orders were messed up a couple of times (like asking for the fish to be cleaned but they weren’t). Sometimes I get good deals on dairy products from Jaya Grocers’ – never great like BOGOF – but good enough. Most of the time I order from Tesco though – I like their canned tuna and buy them in bulk.

Hmm I have no other additions. Need help with this section – please share deals you know!

Do you know any other budget keto tips that work in Malaysia?

If yes, please share in the comments section!

Special thanks to Jules of KetoJules (Malaysian keto website) for inspiration, as well as MalaysianOnKeto Instagram for meal ideas.

 

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10 comments

  1. Buying chia seeds and etc from Signature Market is also good. Packed really nicely and really quick delivery. Personally, I have gotten so many goods from there from flax seeds to tonnes of chia seeds, walnuts, every kinda seed and grain. Not everything there is cheap but during promos… they are cheap. Haha.

  2. I have got chia seed in stock but i prefer mine to be soak up in milk instead of santan so i never get to finish my chia seed now im in keto. But the other day i figure maybe i should try put some in my almond pancake, it turns out fine! Just one way to increase your chia intake while you are in keto.

  3. U save a lot if you make your own peanut butter and u get to control the sugar and the oil. Some recipe calls for honey and oil, but I personally just use nuts and never add any other additives. They taste oh-so-good. I never buy them anymore. I eat them with celery and sometimes add in to my chocolate when i crave for something sweet. Hmmmmmmmm

    Also, I buy my nuts (hazelnut, peanut, almond, etc) in bulk from berkat madinah for snacking and to make homemade nut butter.

    1. Why haven’t I thought of this?? Thanks Azni for pointing it out! How long does your peanut butter last? I’m worried it might go bad if I don’t finish it fast.

      Thanks for the Berkat Madinah tip! The online shop doesn’t appear to stock raw almonds, only roasted. When I have time I’ll check out the shops. How’s the price like?

  4. I made few jars, half of it i stored them in refrigerator and some in a room temperature . Both last considerably long. There were jars that was more than 8 weeks and still taste good. But, trust me, usually the homemade nut butter wont last that long. U will find every excuse to eat them with something.

    Berkat madinah price is much cheaper than jaya grocer for sure, but cant remember the price now… and they do have raw nuts.

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