Many people wrongly believe that eating a plant-based diet is more expensive than others, yet this simply isn’t the case. If anything, it is much cheaper than a meat-based diet! Not to mention how nutritious it is, as well as being extremely eco-friendly. All of these things make it the perfect diet for anyone on a budget! If you’re looking for a few ways to cut down on the cost of your vegan weekly diet food shop, look no further.
Tips to Cut Down Your Budget For Vegan Diet Food Shopping
1. Cook in Bulk!
Buying ingredients and cooking in bulk is a really cost effective way of preparing your meals. It also means that less food will go to waste, so it’s a win-win! Get yourself some freezable tubs and label them with the contents and date. Most foods are safe to freeze for up to 6 months, but I’m sure they won’t last that long.
Soups, mixed bean chilli, lentil bolognese, vegetable curries, and pasta sauces are just a few of the different things that freeze really well and are easy to cook. If you batch cook a couple of new recipes each week, you will build up plenty of meals in your freezer. This way, you won’t end up eating soup for lunch and chilli for dinner five nights in a row!
Also Read: What Does the Best Diet Every Day
2. Buy Fruits and Veggies Rather Than Meat Substitutes
Vegan meat substitutes are still relatively new to the market, meaning their price is quite high. There are exceptions to this rule and budget supermarkets offer great options, however if you’re wanting to save money, it might be best to opt for buying lots of fruits and vegetables rather than ‘vegan’ products.
You can do so much with fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, meaning you won’t miss buying vegan sausages or burgers. Of course you can treat yourself every now and again, but if you’re short of money towards the end of the month, this is a great option. Try using a new vegetable each week that you’ve never tried before in your cooking to keep things interesting!
3. Opt For Frozen Fruit and Vegetables
Whilst fresh fruits and vegetables are cheaper than meat substitutes, an even better option is to go for frozen fruit and veg. They last for months meaning nothing will go to waste and they taste just as good at cooking! My favorites are frozen summer berries and mango for smoothies, frozen peppers for stir fry’s and fajitas, and frozen spinach for pasta dishes. 250g of frozen spinach is about the same as a fresh bag, so simply weigh it out and add to your dish slightly earlier than you would with fresh spinach. Or, you could cook it down in a separate pan to prevent excess water.
4. Make Packed Lunches
Supermarkets offer some great vegan meal diet deals these days which are great for when you’re in a rush and don’t have time to make something. Yet, the most cost-effective option is to make your own lunches to take to work. You will probably spend about half as much as you would on a meal deal.
My go-to lunch is a hummus and falafel wrap with mango chutney, lentil crisps, and a banana. It’s best to take your daily multivitamin with food, so I pack it in my lunchbox just in case I don’t have time for breakfast. I usually spend a bit of time on a Sunday evening making my lunches for the week so I don’t have to worry about it later on!
5. Cook Beans and Rice From Dry
Buying bags of dried beans or uncooked rice is the most cost effective option for your diet, especially as you’ll probably be eating a lot of them! Whilst it may take a bit more preparation or be less convenient than tinned beans or microwavable rice packets, it is far cheaper.
Rice is really easy to cook from scratch when you know how! Wash your rice really well to get rid of excess starch, drain and put into your saucepan. For every cup of rice, you will need about a cup and a half of water. Place on the hob on a medium heat and cook for around 12 minutes. After this time, the water should be all absorbed and your rice should be fully cooked and fluffy. If it isn’t quite cooked, add some more water and give it another few minutes. You’ll get the perfect rice every time!
Rehydrating beans takes slightly longer than tinned alternatives, but it doesn’t take much effort! This will work for most beans, including chickpeas, black beans, cannellini beans, pinto beans and red kidney beans. You’ll want to fully submerge your beans in water, cover the top and leave to soak overnight. This will rehydrate the beans and also significantly reduce the overall cooking time. I like to soak them when I’m cooking dinner to then use the following evening.
After being soaked overnight your beans will be ready to use. Once drained, the cooking time will vary quite significantly depending on the type of bean you are cooking, from about 45 minutes to 2 hours. A good way to speed up the process is to cook them in a pressure cooker if you have one! Although the process is slightly longer, you will save so much money.
6. Find Staples in Asian Supermarkets
If you regularly eat Asian food, you will find your staple items much cheaper in Asian supermarkets. Things like rice, noodles, tofu and coconut milk can be found at much better prices than in other supermarkets. I usually go once every few months and stock up on what I’ll need. Most things are non-perishable so keep for months in the cupboard, otherwise I will prepare and freeze other ingredients, like tofu.
I find that the quality of the products is also much better. I especially enjoy getting my miso paste from the Asian supermarket as it tastes amazing! It is such a diverse ingredient so it is always worth having in the cupboard.
7. Try Growing Your Own Fruit, Vegetables, and Herbs
Also Read: Secrets for Successful Low Carb Diet Plan
Although fresh fruit and vegetables aren’t very expensive, being able to have them for free is obviously a much better option! Also, it is far more environmentally friendly as your produce won’t have had to travel or be imported to get to you.
Starting your own allotment can be daunting, to begin with, however, you will soon pick up the skills you need. Most towns have allotment spaces available that you can rent, or perhaps you’re lucky enough to have some spare room in your back garden that you can utilize.
Grow seasonal produce so that you have different things available all throughout the year. If you don’t feel you have the time for this, then growing herbs in pots is a great alternative. They’re easy to maintain and will save you so much money on buying fresh herbs each week. My staples are rosemary, basil and coriander!
Eating a vegan diet on a budget is really easy. Invest a bit of time when you have it spare to bulk cook or prepare food in advance and you’ll be saving money and time in the long run! Once you’ve started your vegan diet, you won’t look back.