Vegan Diet On A Budget: A Complete Guide – This will help you save money and eat better on a vegan diet.
You may think that veganism is expensive, however, it really isn’t, but for new vegans, it’s confusing and hard to know what the heck you should be buying!
I have been there – when I first went vegan, I would literally buy every single vegan option of anything I would find at the store.
Anything that had the label ‘Vegan’ was going in my basket.
That, however, my friends, is not how you do a vegan diet on a budget.
There’s a very common misunderstanding of healthy, plant-based food being exceptionally expensive. This might stem from the idea that we have to buy expensive supplements, powders, superfoods, or vegan meat and dairy substitutes in order to sustain this lifestyle.
It really annoys me when some people say “I can’t go vegan because it’s so expensive” and I am like….honestly, it’s not!!!
So, I am going to give you some tips on how to save money, and even eat better and healthier for less.
1.Avoid Buying Vegan Mock Foods
That includes vegan burgers, vegan ice creams, vegan pizzas, etc. These are normally highly processed, and also tend to break the bank.
They obviously taste good and are convenient, but they can cost you a lot.
Beyond burgers, for example, are £5/$6.88 for 2 burgers only.
You get the picture. Vegan alternatives bought at the shop are pricey. Not saying all of them are, but a lot of them can be very expensive.
2. Buy Fruit And Vegetables That Are In Season
That’s very important! I know that it’s fantastic to have all sorts of fresh produce available throughout the whole year…but if you think about it, where does this tomato comes from in the winter? Think about how much it had to travel before it reached your plate.
This goes for every single fresh produce you buy. The more you buy that’s in season, the greater the chance is that it will be the tastiest and cheapest you can get.
3. Cook, Cook, Cook!
Now, not everybody likes or has the time to cook, so it can be expensive to buy pre-cooked vegetables or anything that’s been pre-made for you.
The thing that frustrates me a lot, is pre-cut vegetables in a plastic bag. Like seriously! They are so expensive and they are simply cut! Not even cooked!
That’s where people get it wrong. It’s convenient, but unfortunately, convenience costs money!
Cooking doesn’t have to be difficult, and my whole blog is revolved around easy vegan meals, so have a look at my recipes.
If you hate, hate cooking, that’s fine, perhaps invest half a day on a Sunday to batch cook something for the week, or make easy-to-make meals without much cooking, like steamed veggies, some air-fried tofu, and some rice, or a baked potato.
Or how about throw-whatever-in-a-pan-and-stir-fry. This is a common meal in my house, I just fry a lot of leftover veggies in the fridge with some sauces and spices. Throw a potato in the oven, or even boil it, then voila, you got a meal!
4. Buy Frozen Fruit And Vegetables
Frozen fruit and veg are actually better than fresh ones sometimes! Not to mention cheaper as well.
Ever wondered how all the fresh fruit and veggies are always so shiny at the stores, well they spray them with all sorts of chemicals, and you never know how long those apples have been staying there before you buy ’em.
The good thing about frozen fruit and veg is that they are normally frozen straight after they get harvested when they are the freshest!
So I recommend buying frozen fruit and veg!
5. Stop Buying Coffee From Coffee Shops!
Another really important tip is that you stop buying coffee at your coffee shop! Coffee is like liquid gold for most coffee shops, (believe me, I worked as a chef in a cafe, and I was mind blown when the owner revealed that to me) the cost to make the coffee is like $0.60 (including the barista’s wage) and they sell a cup of coffee for a whopping $3.20 at the cheapest! If you calculate 5 x $3.20 = $16 just on coffee! If you make it at home, it will likely taste the same, but man, so much cheaper!
But if you buy your coffee at Starbucks, I don’t even want to calculate how much you spend per week, cos it’s a lot!
Even investing in a small coffee machine at home, will still save you money in the long term. Take some coffee to work made at home, and refill it at work.
6. Avoid Eating Out/Ordering In Too Often
We go back to cooking. Ordering in or going out for food can be very, very pricey. I get it, it’s really nice to go to that new vegan restaurant, but doing it regularly can really hit the bank.
Going out for a meal has always been a thing that I do for special occasions. So, think of it as a reward, or for a special occasion, not for an everyday eating thing.
In times of being on the move, try to prepare meals or snacks in advance and take them with you in a lunch box. In that way, you also have full control over what goes into your meals and aren’t dependent on restaurant foods that might accidentally (or not) put animal-based products in your food.
Cook large batches, and freeze any extra portions. This way, you get to help yourself in the future. There are so many easy meals you can do in bulk.
And for snacks, trust me, there is an abundance of choices! Check out snack recipes.
7. Focus On Plant-Based Whole Foods
Beans, greens, potatoes, rice, oats, nuts, seeds, fruit…and the list goes on.
Whole, plant foods are loaded with all the essential nutrients your body needs and should be the base of your diet. The great thing about these unprocessed and pure foods is that they are also the cheapest ones out there, especially the starchy foods.
Whole foods are normally quite cheap compared to any processed foods.
Think of a pound of potatoes, compared to a bag of french fries…or a bag of whole-grain pasta, compared to a ready-made pasta dish (which is normally so unhealthy).
Buying in bulks, and un-cooked whole foods, you are looking at a winner here.
8. Shop Locally!
Go to farmers’ markets or even out-of-town farms where you can buy directly from the source.
Farmers’ markets offer you a great variety of local, seasonal, and nutritious produce. Buying directly from the grower not only supports your local community but is also cheaper in some cases.
9. Shop Before The Stores Close
They often have pretty good sales, mostly on fresh produce, that is technically still great to eat but are out of date on the label. You can buy so many different things for almost nothing if you manage to get a good sale.
Also, don’t forget that there still isn’t such a high demand for vegan foods, so depending on the area, some of the vegan foods in the shops may not sell on time, which means they will be put on a sale ( which essentially is good for you )
I like to go to the shops an hour before they close some days, and hunt for sales, especially in the veg section. A great stir-fry will be made out of 5 different veggies that I’ve bought for pennies.
10. Shop Smart!
1. That loyalty/membership card you kept avoiding to get at your local store? – GET IT! You can get so many benefits out of it, a lot of reduced prices, and even money every time you scan the card!
2.Use up those vouchers you keep getting at the post!
3. When you are shopping for a specific item, always check at the bottom. Supermarkets tend to put the most expensive branded stuff at the very top, so people think it’s the only option of that specific item.
4. Be smart about how much you buy when it comes to fresh produce (like fruit and veg), you don’t want to end up throwing some away, simply because you couldn’t eat it all. You definitely don’t want your food to spoil, so buy only the amounts you really know you’re going to eat.
If you plan your meals ahead, you won’t ever be in a situation where you will be like “flip it, I am ordering in” or buy ready-meals at the shop for dinner after work….always plan your meals ahead, so that you always have an idea of what you are having. In that way, you will save tons of money, especially if you’ve cooked the meals yourself!
12. Why Not Grow Your Own Food?
It’s fun, it will benefit your health, and what you put in your stomach, not to mention the amount of money you will save!
if you have space, and a little extra time on your hands, grow those tomatoes!
So, this is my Vegan Diet On A Budget: A Complete Guide.
Veganism is not expensive at all, with a little knowledge and experience – you will even find yourself saving money whilst being on a vegan diet.
Remember – everything is in your hands, cook more, shop smart, learn more, and most importantly – have fun and enjoy the benefits of the vegan diet because they are certainly many.
I am here to help you – with any means necessary, so if you have any questions about anything regarding veganism – feel free to drop a comment below, or find me and message me directly on my socials:
I hope this guide helps you!