So often as a vegan, I hear people tell me that being vegan “is too expensive”. While I initially believed this myself, I realized that it is in fact a myth. When reporters compared apples to apples (actually carrots to McDonald’s in this case,) they found that the vegan, plant-based meals were much cheaper. Here is a Forbes article on the topic…
In addition, here are my top tips for eating vegan on a budget:
1). Meal planning:
This is definitely the number one thing for me and my husband, as we litterally plan every meal for the week ahead of time. This is not nearly as difficult and time consuming as it sounds, it is actually fun, fairly quick and gets us excited about the delicious food to come. (More blog posts on this topic to follow).
2). Grocery List:
After making a weekly meal plan, I make a grocery list of everything we will need to cook for the week. Once we are in the grocery store we do not add anything “off the list” into our cart. While I struggled with this one at first, “I forgot the Daiya!” I soon realized I could make due without whatever ingredient I thought I “needed” and it led to some creative recipes.
3). Spend your money where it counts:
I do believe in the importance of buying organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible, so our produce tends to be the biggest expense of the trip. That being said, I do not buy many expensive transition foods (only one or two per week) and I buy dried beans and grains.
4). Buy what’s in season:
The produce in season tends to be cheaper and much better quality, than the produce that isn’t in season. Whenever posible I try to get it at my local famers market on Saturday mornings (holler Burnet Road Market!)
5). No waste:
I learned the hard way that whatever I don’t prep on the weekends for the week, often gets wasted during the week. Meaning, I chop all of my vegetables and fruits on Saturday or Sunday and I have learned that not only does this cut down on precious cooking time during the week, but it also ensures that I actually use everything in my refrigerator. I become more aware of everything we have including any leftovers from last week that need to be used. I’ve also learned first hand that waiting until I am hungry at 6pm on a work night to start chopping vegetables is not nearly as good as just throwing things that are pre-chopped and prepped into a pot for a 10 minute dinner.
Hope these help!