How to eat vegan on a budget
20th Jan 2021
Opting for a vegan diet is becoming more and more popular. However, there is often the perception that it is more expensive than a meat-eating diet, which could prevent some people from giving it a go.
Due to the increased popularity and availability of vegan products, and with a bit of creativity, it doesn’t have to be more expensive. We’ve put together some tips to help you keep the cost down, so if you want to try a vegan diet, nothing is stopping you.
Tips to eat vegan on a budget
Cook fresh food
As convenient and time-saving as buying processed food can be, not only will they often be full of preservatives, but it usually works out to be more expensive. Cooking food from fresh will allow you to get creative with your food, and if you cook in bulk, you can freeze meals for another time, making it work out cheaper in the long run.
Plan your meals
If you plan your meals for the week, this can help reduce waste. There will often be meals that use some of the same ingredients. Cooking these in the same week will help to reduce your shopping list so you can shop on a budget and use up everything you’ve bought.
Since being a vegan is becoming increasingly popular, supermarkets are supplying much more products to suit the diet. It is worthwhile shopping around to see what each shop offers to see where the best deals are. You can also stock up on any items that are on sale.
Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk often works out cheaper, especially when getting your products from Asian supermarkets. You can stock up on blocks of key ingredients such as tofu, rice, noodles, or soy sauce. Any items that don’t keep well can often be frozen.
Use up leftovers
Got leftover beans or veggies? Don’t let your food go to waste. There are many recipes out there for bean salads or soups that can use them up.
Cook beans from dry
Cooking with dry beans may be more time-consuming as you will need to soak them first, but there are many benefits to this rather than opting for ready-made beans. It is much cheaper to buy a big bag of dried beans, you can batch cook them to then freeze for another time. The liquid left behind is aquafaba, which is a vegan egg replacement. You can use this to make all sorts of things, like mayonnaise and meringues. For some inspiration of how to use aquafaba, there are many websites out there, including The Vegan Society.
Make your own condiments
Not only will you know exactly what is in your condiments, but you can get a sense of satisfaction that you made it. There is an array of salad dressings, spice mixes, and nut butter that you can make. You could also give fermenting a go to create fresh sauerkraut, kimchi, and fermented beets to add to your meals. They are great for your gut too!
Grow your own
If you’ve got green fingers, why not try and grow your own herbs. Buying fresh herbs each time you want to use them can be costly, and they don’t tend to last well. So, why not have a couple of pots of your favourite herbs on your windowsill to grow yourself. If you’ve got room in your garden, you could even attempt to grow some fruit or vegetables too.
Go fruit picking
Punnetts of berries often aren’t cheap. When it’s the right season, fruit picking is a great way to stock up for free. So, if you’ve got any blackberry bushes nearby, make the most of it. You could always freeze the fruit to add into smoothies or pies at a later date.
There may be some brands that you’ve always bought and can’t see yourself living without. But, in reality, they often taste very similar, if not the same, to the supermarket’s own-brand version, but for a fraction of the cost. Why not give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose.
Another reason to check the supermarket’s own-brand products is that their low-budget alternatives are often vegan friendly without stating it. For example, if you check the ingredients, they may have opted for vegetable oil or margarine instead of butter as they will be cheaper ingredients, but also vegan!
There are so many websites out there offering vegan recipes. So, why not have a browse and see what you can recreate.
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