Unlike the common belief, a vegan diet does not have to be expensive. Utilize this how-to guide to make the vegan lifestyle affordable for you! In this article, you will learn how to be vegan on a budget with smart planning, tips, food lists, & more.
Is it cheaper to eat vegan?
In short: It can be! In fact, a recent study from Oxford University, published in The Lancet Planetary Health revealed that in countries such as the US, the UK, and others, adopting a vegan diet could reduce your food bill by up to one-third.
It does require a little bit of planning though. Thankfully we will take you by the hand and help you with that. First of all forget about superfoods, expensive powders, vegan convenience foods, and such! Those may be nice to have, but are not necessary and will cost you.
Vegan monthly food budget
To start eating vegan on a budget, you need to decide on a budget. Set a budget that works for you! That can be as low as $40 per week (yes that’s possible), or as high as $150. It all depends on your individual needs, how many people you’re shopping for, and financial resources.
Set yourself a separate budget for expensive foods that you love, and eat out at your favorite vegan restaurant! Leaving yourself room for enjoyment and indulgence can help prevent you from just quitting entirely.
Above all, your budget should be as simple as possible so you will stick to it. Learn more
Once your budget is set you can start planning your meals. Meal planning is essential since you want to pick meals that contain affordable ingredients. Keep it simple, and or make easy swaps! For example: If a recipe calls for vegan faux chicken, swap it for a more affordable plant-based protein such as tofu, beans, or cauliflower.
Stick to your grocery list
Once you planned your meals and written down what you need, stick to your grocery list when shopping! Don’t start buying things that are not on the list.
Keep track of your expenses. To keep track keep the receipt, and document what you spent. Either in a notebook for your finances or on a budgeting app on your phone.
And most importantly, get started! Once you figure out which meals you want to eat as regulars, and which techniques and ways work best to plan your meals, it’ll take you no more than 20 minutes per week to plan all your meals.
Prepare your meals and meal prep
Preparing your own meals from scratch will save you serious money! Eating out, convenience foods, and frozen meals can be nice, but are all pricey. Meal prepping on the other hand can help you stick to your meal plan, and will save you time. When you are feeling too lazy to cook, your food is already prepared and just needs a quick warm-up. This can also help prevent you from ordering takeout.
Budget-friendly vegan foods
To determine which meals to pick for your meal plan, it is best to have a rough overview of which foods are affordable. Stocking up on staples by buying in bulk will save you money too. Read our guide on essential food staples you should stock up on. Some affordable vegan foods include:
- Produce (Fruit and Vegetables)
- Beans and Legumes
- Oats, and Oatmeal
- Peanut butter
- Soy milk
- Dried herbs and spices
How to save the most during your shopping trip
There are many ways how to save while grocery shopping. Here are some of the tips that will save you the most in the long run.
- Don’t shop hungry, eat before you shop
- Don’t buy everything in one place - compare pricing in grocery stores
- Buy in bulk, it’s cheaper!
- Buy seasonal
- Shop at farmers’ markets and/or local Asian supermarkets
- Look for wholesalers and online retailers (such as better health market and iHerb)
- Buy frozen and canned food
- Freeze your leftovers, or eat them for lunch
- Go off-brand
- Check the reduced food corner
- Don’t buy organic
- Grow your own food
- Look for discounts, and use coupons
- Use loyalty programs and memberships
- Use Cashback apps such as iBotta, fetch rewards, or coupons.com
If you are not using cash back apps, I highly recommend you to start using them. Using cash back apps together with store loyalty programs can save you serious money in the long run. Make sure to use the affiliate links below when you sign up to get some extra cash back/rewards!
- Ibotta Referral Code mpfvybt will get you an extra $10 after submitting your first receipt.
- Fetch Rewards Code axfb14 will give you an extra 2.000 reward coins.
Vegan On A Budget Cheat Sheet
I hope you enjoyed this post and found these tips helpful. I’m wishing you all the best on your vegan journey! Before you leave make sure to grab your free Vegan On A Budget Cheat Sheet with 3 printable PDFs (a meal planner, a grocery list template and a 7-day already planned meal plan). They will help you get started!
Gabriela Herrera says
Thank you so much this is all valuable information.
Hi Gabriela, I am happy to hear you find this article valuable!
I love your 7-day planned meal plan, thanks!
I am so happy to hear you enjoy it, Natalie! Thank you for always leaving the kindest comments.
Katie Jacques says
Love this post! So many tips and tricks I'll be implementing asap!
great useful tips!! i can't wait to get the planner from you!
I hope you enjoy it!