Want to go vegan, but think it might be expensive? Here’s our guide on How to Eat Vegan On a Budget in 5 Steps! We will walk through the easy ways to have a fulfilling and satisfying vegan journey that still tastes absolutely delicious.
Do you know what just occurred to me?! I’ve never shared with you guys why I went vegan! I’ll probably share it for my next vegan anniversary, but one of the questions that always comes up is,
“Is going/being vegan expensive?”
I’m happy to say that the answer is no. Well, at least the simple answer is no. When I went vegan (Gav went vegan around the same time as I did) our grocery bill actually cut in half. Yes, we were still eating absolutely delicious meals! Being vegan can be very affordable without cutting back on any flavour, but it can also be expensive if you focus on items/practices that aren’t budget-friendly. Today I want to show you how by implementing these 5 super easy steps, you can easily go vegan on a budget!
Sounds pretty easy, right? That’s because it is. One of the most important tips for people that are just transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is to eat (please read this in context) like you’ve been eating before. Just replace the non-vegan parts of your meals! Let me explain a bit more. There’s a large temptation when going vegan to completely overhaul your entire diet. So suddenly, for example, when you’ve always eaten rice, you’ve decided to cut that out and now only eat quinoa because a video told you to.I promise you, that not only is this not necessary when you’re completely switching diets, but it can also end up being pretty expensive and wasteful for you. Instead of buying a long list of brand new foods you’ve never eaten before, and a result, probably won’t eat, finish or even like, start small. Start by swapping your chicken for tofu for example, or even beans. Or your other proteins for other things. Your cow’s milk for nut milk. This means if you love pasta eat pasta but make it vegan, the same thing for burgers, or even tacos! By using the same base ingredients in your pantry along with a few new vegan ingredients, you’ll save yourself a lot!
When deciding to buy certain items, shop smart and in bulk! Let’s use nuts as an example. Nuts tend to be a key staple in a lot of vegan recipes. Whether it’s walnut meats, cashew cheese, cashew creams or even nut milk, you’re probably going to be using them a lot! Nuts cost up to 3x more in the supermarket than on bulk websites or in bulk stores, and since they last long anyway, it makes way more sense to buy them this way!
This next step is an easy but important step. Don’t rely heavily on processed vegan foods. Now I’m not saying you can’t have any, we always have like one or two in our fridge/freezer. But to rely on these are your main vegan sources will definitely cost you a pretty penny. It’s not because they’re vegan, it’s because they’re convenience foods! I find whenever I explain this one to people, a big “ah!” goes off. This goes for whether you’re going non-vegan or vegan frozen tv dinners, frozen pizzas, frozen cheesecakes etc. If you’re buying a lot of them, it’s going to cost you. So find a balance. Stick to mainly fresh foods and maybe only buy a few of these a month.
You don’t have to feel like you have to eat the same thing every day. In fact, you don’t even have to meal prep everything on a Sunday and eat it throughout the week. You can make meals that have large serving sizes and mix the days that you eat them (which is what I tend to do). For example, you can make stews, soups, curries, pancakes, tofu scramble, chia puddings – the list goes on. They’re all pretty simple, tend to be one pot, and make multiple servings so you automatically meal prep.
Long story short, meal prep saves money because you’re using the same ingredients to make many servings of a dish, and you’re less likely to order takeout just because there’s no food in your house. Just ensure you’re making meal prep work for YOU else it might have an opposite effect for you. Whatever you’re meal prepping, ensure that it maintains its taste over the next couple of days. For example, I’m not a huge fan of meal prepping salads for the week ahead. What I will do instead is keep the ingredients handy so that the prep of the salad is simple, then I’ll prep it the night before.
I PROMISE – Beans, Legumes & Pulses are SO yummy!! Don’t limit your view of them. They are great sources of iron, protein, and vitamins, are cheap and store for a really long time. They’re also so versatile! I’m talking anything from hummus to falafels to dips to curries to so much more. In fact, canned beans etc are actually pretty convenient so if you want to go even more budget, you can buy dried beans/pulses/legumes and cook them yourself.
Whenever I have my inevitable “ugh, there is nothing to eat!” moment, I remind myself to check the pantry. I inevitably find some lentils or beans and get to thinking. Actually, this is exactly how dishes like my Lentil Curry Soup were born! I commit myself to look again. Usually, there are dried lentils or beans. It always brightens my day. If we’re talking more about affordability, canned beans are a convenience food. Buying dried lentils or beans are significantly cheaper.
Bonus section! If you guys want even more information:
I hope you enjoyed this post, friends! I’m wishing you all the best on your vegan journey if you’re thinking about going vegan or already are and want to implement some budget-friendly tips into your life! What do you do to eat vegan on a budget? Let me know in the comments section below!