Vegan Lifestyle On A Budget
Veganism can easily be tailored to fit into most people's lives, regardless of income. It's a myth that eating a vegan diet is expensive by nature. In fact, vegan diets in particular are very accommodating to budget living and eating.
Many of the foods considered to be staples in a typical, healthy vegan diet are very affordable – grains, beans, seeds, and legumes are all good examples. You can make a lot of delicious vegan food on a budget!
Vegetable curries with rice and tofu, creamy or broth-based soups, vegetable stir-fries, sandwiches, veggie & bean chillies, pasta dishes, and salads are all examples of tasty and affordable vegan meals.
Sometimes a switch to veganism can inspire you to lead a healthier lifestyle and you may find yourself wanting to try some of the “superfoods” on the market. That's awesome! But pricier superfoods aren't imperative to achieving a balanced, vegan diet. Regardless of how you choose to structure your vegan lifestyle, here are some ideas to help you save money while you're shopping!
Plant-based foods don’t have to be expensive! Learn how to be vegan on a budget with smart planning, our everyday tips, food lists, easy recipes & more. If you think that food cost keeps you from going vegan, this article is for you! Changing your diet and life can seem daunting enough but with our tips for saving money while eating delicious food, being vegan on a budget is totally possible.
Vegans avoid the consumption of any and all animal products and often also eschew animal-derived clothing. Going vegan can seem like a big change at first, but many people suggest starting small and making simple substitutions. You don’t have to cut everything out at once; instead, try swapping different foods out one by one.
Dairy milk for plant-based, meat for legumes, nuts, tofu, and so on. It’s important to make positive changes in a way that is healthy and suits your lifestyle, and fortunately, going vegan can be both affordable and straightforward.
“Looking back on 2018 as a whole, one of the most notable consumer trends is the shift to a more plant-based diet,” Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said in a statement.
Flexitarianism is increasingly popular as people become more concerned over the health, environmental, and welfare concerns associated with animal consumption. Fifty-seven percent of British people want to ditch meat for environmental reasons, and 80 percent of Americans say they want to swap meat for vegan alternatives.
“Today, 1% of all households include a vegan, 5% have a vegetarian and 10% have flexitarians in their ranks. This move has contributed to consumers eating a total of 4.4 billion meat-free dinners in 2018, an increase of 150 million meals on the year before,” McKevitt added.
Vegan Lifestyle On A Budget
In many cases, a vegan lifestyle can be tailored to fit into any income bracket. That's because veganism is a very inclusive diet, meaning it includes lots of low-cost foods. Many of the foods considered to be staples in a typical vegan diet are very affordable.
You can make a lot of delicious vegan food on a budget. Vegetable curries with rice and tofu, creamy or broth-based soups, vegetable stir-fries, sandwiches, veggie & bean chillies, pasta dishes, and salads are all examples of tasty and affordable vegan meals.
Sometimes a switch to veganism can inspire you to lead a healthier lifestyle and you may find yourself wanting to try some of the “superfoods” on the market. That's awesome! But pricier superfoods aren't imperative to achieving a balanced, healthy diet.
It's not uncommon for a vegan lifestyle to come with some costs. One of the many things that most people worry about when going vegan is food. It's true that buying vegan foods can be expensive, but there are ways to make the switch more affordable and accessible.
Veggie burgers and soy meats are a great way to save money on meatless meals. These products are often cheaper than their animal-based counterparts and they taste amazing! Another option is to eat at home more often – you can easily make vegetable stir-fries or bean chillies in bulk.
You could also try going vegetarian for a few days out of the week in order to reduce your meat intake and lower your food expenses.
How To Be Vegan When You Don’t Have Much Money
If you're new to veganism and unsure how to get started, here are some tips for getting on the vegan bandwagon with a minimum of financial investment.
- Buy staple food items in bulk. This can include grains, beans, seeds, and legumes that are cheap to buy in bulk. By shopping for these items at a warehouse store or big-box retailers like Costco or Whole Foods, you can usually find good deals.
- Buy in season! When fruit is in the season it's generally cheaper than out of season, due to the demand for filling grocery store shelves during the harvest time.
While it is difficult to find vegan alternatives for traditional animal-based foods like meat, dairy and eggs, there are plenty of ways to make meatless dishes that incorporate fresh vegetables and whole grains. Beans, lentils, tofu, seitan (wheat gluten), tempeh (a soybean cake), mushrooms and other vegetables can all be used in recipes to create a variety of flavourful dishes.
There are also many great vegan products being made these days – everything from vegan cheese to vegan ice cream. For those who want more luxury items without the price tag, you can try whole foods like nuts and seeds or homemade nut milk that provide healthy fats that are essential for your body.
As long as you have some creative spirit and a few smart choices with ingredients and cooking methods, you'll be able to successfully eat a plant-based diet on a budget.
How To Find Affordable, Healthy Food
As with anything that you want to eat, the best way to find affordable, healthy food is by simply looking around and seeing what's in your neighbourhood. If you're looking for grocery stores, go to your local farmer's markets or health food stores. If you aren't sure where those are, google “vegan grocery store near me” and see what comes up! You might be surprised at the options available!
If you're still struggling to find an affordable vegan grocery store near you, consider buying vegan-friendly products at your local supermarket. A lot of these products have at least some vegan options and they may already have a price point that fits within your budget.
Another option is online shopping on sites like Amazon; just be sure to check their prices before you buy something because sometimes vegan foods can be more expensive than non-vegan food.
Another important resource for cost-effective vegan products in your pantry! Most of the ingredients needed for a delicious plant-based meal can be found in most kitchens. So go ahead and stock up on nuts, seeds, dried fruit, herbs and spices – all of which are typically inexpensive staples for cooking any dish!
To find affordable, healthy vegan food, it's helpful to think about your personal needs and wants. If you don't have children or someone in the house who needs to eat more than one meal a day, you could go for a simpler diet. Remember that with veganism, what you eat is based on your moral beliefs and preference.
The best way to do this is by re-evaluating your own health goals. How does eating vegan make you feel? What are your health goals and how would these be impacted if you ate a vegan diet?
By using these questions as an outline for what you might want to eat, you can start finding some meals that fit into your budget without sacrificing nutrition. It's also important to remember that any type of food can be a superfood depending on how it's prepared and eaten – not just expensive products!
Check The ‘Value’ Products
The value of veganism doesn't stop with just the food you buy. Vegan clothing, household products, and personal care items also help to save money on groceries. If you're interested in vegan fashion brands, check out websites like Modcloth (modcloth.com) or Zappos (zappos.com). You can find many vegan-friendly fashion brands online that are affordable and stylish.
Frequently, low-cost supermarket items are vegan while their more costly counterparts are not; for example, lower-cost products are manufactured with vegetable oil or margarine whereas the more expensive ones utilize butter.
Vegan ‘value' versions of apple pies, garlic bread, dark chocolate, and fruit crumble have been sighted at shops. If you take a moment to go through the ingredients, you may be shocked to learn that it's vegan.
Another thing to consider is that even if you have a limited budget, you can still have a vegan diet. There are lots of “reduced” produce options such as canned beans, canned legumes, frozen vegetables, and frozen fruit. Why not take advantage of being able to buy these items in bulk?
That way you can save money by buying more than one product at a time. You can also find plenty of recipes online for vegan dishes that don't require expensive ingredients, so keep your eyes open for those.
If you want to create a quick supper, look for fruit and vegetables in the ‘reduced' area of your local supermarket and think about what you can make with them. You never know where your imagination may go. It could be worth skipping them if they've just been lowered by 20p or are still very costly since you'll only be saving a tiny amount.
When you go to supermarkets and businesses close closing time, you may frequently find bread and fresh fruit at significantly discounted costs. Everything from discount bread buns to puff pastry and pots of hummus that are almost being given away for pennies can be found here. Pastry and bread, for example, maybe frozen and defrosted later to last the full week.
Special Occasions And Deals
It's also important to note that veganism can be affordable in other ways. Vegan festivals and restaurants exist everywhere, so there are always opportunities for delicious vegan food and great deals on it. You don't have to break the bank in order to eat a wholesome, healthy diet.
If you're wanting certain meals, you may find ‘specialist' items like vegan cheese or vegan meat substitutes at numerous health shops. Their prices may be a bit pricier than supermarkets' own brands, but you can fit them into a tighter budget if you discover them on sale (bigger health retailers like Holland & Barrett have some amazing bargains).
It's preferable to think of them as occasional treats rather than staple meals when it comes to your health. This isn't to say that a vegan diet isn't costly; a non-vegan diet focused on expensive cheeses and cuts of meat would quickly mount up as well.
Freeze And Reheat
While many people think vegan food takes a lot of time and effort, it doesn't have to be that way. Sometimes, cooking is just too much for the day and you can just heat up something in the microwave or oven. If you're looking for quick meals, veggie burgers are great because they take very little time to prepare.
You can buy a box of frozen veggie burgers at any store and place them on a baking sheet. After heating them in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes, they'll be ready to eat. Other “easy” recipes include simple pasta dishes or stir-fries with rice or vegetables. If you want an easy meal that is still vegan, try using coconut milk instead of soy milk in a curry or soup recipe.
With a large bag of supermarket ‘basics' veggies or potatoes and a freezer, you may create multiple servings of curry, chilli, or casserole and freeze them. This is significantly less expensive than purchasing ready-made meals, and it is also handier; for example, if you don't have time to cook, just heat a meal in the microwave.
Frozen veggies, such as frozen peppers, broccoli, or spinach, may be cheaper than fresh and taste just as wonderful. They also last longer, which means you won't have to toss any out. It's fantastic to get inexpensive fruit and berries in local markets, but they may be beyond their prime.
Washing, chopping, and freezing them is a fast and simple method to keep them fresh and delicious. This means they'll keep for a long time and can be blended into smoothies anytime you desire. Also, if you can locate inexpensive bananas, they may be frozen and combined to produce delicious ice cream.
Leftovers For Lunch
If you're looking to eat a vegan diet on a budget, leftovers are your best friend. It's always a good idea to plan ahead and make extra food, which can be easily stored in the freezer or fridge and reheated for lunch. You could also cook extra batches of lentils or beans, and then freeze them for later.
When it comes to breakfast, think about having some granola on hand that you can put together with a few simple ingredients overnight in the crockpot. This way, when you wake up, you already have something delicious waiting for you.
Make extra of your evening meal and save the rest for a packed lunch the following day if possible. When you're out and about, it's typically less expensive and more convenient to bring your own lunch. Plus, you'll know it'll be delicious! You should have plenty of options for the following day if you get into the habit of cooking extra and freezing it.
I love to use the leftovers from dinner to make a delicious soup for lunch. There are so many different ways of making soups and they are always loved by my family.
Explore New Shops And Markets
Another important aspect of budget veganism is exploring new shops and markets to find vegan food options that may be more affordable. With an online guide, you can find information about new stores and markets in your area. You can also explore the hidden gems of veg-friendly restaurants (try places like White Castle, Taco Bell, Subway, etc.)
Cheaper vegan food options are often found at restaurants or chains that cater to a specific demographic (for example, veggie burgers are often found on menus at fast-food joints). As long as you're willing to look beyond the typical “vegan” grocery store staples, you'll be able to eat well on a budget!
If you live near a store that sells food from foreign nations, walk into the store and have a look. Some ingredients may be less expensive there than at supermarkets. Tofu, for example, is usually cheaper at Chinese supermarkets than in other stores. Interesting noodles, cooking sauces, and other items are often available.
Markets, as previously indicated, maybe an excellent place to get fresh food at lower rates than supermarkets. If your local market offers inexpensive veggies, make a substantial, healthful soup with them and freeze it in portions.
During the summer we always visit our local farmers' market and buy fresh produce there. We usually buy enough for a week and freeze some of it.
Being vegan can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Just because you can’t afford to eat out at a restaurant or buy expensive vegan food doesn’t mean that you can’t follow your vegan lifestyle and be healthy at the same time. Use these tips to find affordable, vegan food that’s healthy and tastes great. In the meantime, you can also explore different shops and markets to find affordable, vegan gifts.
There’s no need to worry about your vegan diet because it doesn’t have to be expensive. By following these simple tips, you can have a healthy and affordable vegan lifestyle without having to compromise your morals or taste.
In my experience, it is cheaper to eat out as a vegan than as an omnivore. Meat or fish dishes are more expensive than a vegetable platter.
I trust you enjoyed this article about the Vegan Lifestyle On A Budget. Please stay tuned for more blog posts to come shortly. Take care!
>>>Want To Learn How To Create Delicious, Cruelty-Free, Healthy AND 100% Vegan Meals? Try These Awesome Vegan Cooking Courses With A Free 7-DAY MEMBERSHIP<<<
Your Opinion Is Important To Me
Ideas? Thoughts? Questions? I would love to hear from you. Would you please leave me your questions, experience, and remarks about this article on the Vegan Lifestyle On A Budget, in the comments section below? You can also reach me by email at Jeannette@LivingTheVeganLifestyle.org.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my full disclosure.
Here are links to some of my favourite articles:
Best Vegan Restaurants In Sarajevo, Bosnia
9 Tasty Vegan Kale Soup Recipes
Vegan Travel Guides To World Destinations
Best Vegan Restaurants In La Paz
Best Vegan Restaurants In Brussels, Belgium
Best Vegan Restaurants In Minsk, Belarus