5 Quick Tips for Eating Vegan on The Cheap
Written by Whitney Blomquist
Eating a healthy, vegan diet is realistic and can be inexpensive if you take some time to perfect your shopping, eating, and time-management habits. Here are few tips to help you on your journey:
- Buy in Bulk. When you see a sale, stock up!! Beans, tofu, almond milk, lentils, oats, pasta, agave, and rice are all items that have a relatively long shelf life and are staples in almost every vegan diet. There is no need to stock up every single time you see a sale, just when you’re running low. You should even try to buy fruits and veggies in bulk when possible, leading me to the next tip…
- The Freezer is your Friend! When you do find your favorite fruits and veggies on sale remember that most fruits and vegetables do just fine in the freezer. I buy onions, green peppers, tomatoes, bananas, and watermelon in bulk and package them in the freezer. You can freeze nearly every fruit/vegetable, and while it is not the freshest option, it does save money and time, and prevents food waste. Additionally, sometimes already frozen produce can be a more affordable option as well.
- Embrace imperfection. Many grocery stores offer a section of discounted produce and packaged goods. Often times, the produce is bruised or close to going bad and the dry goods usually have a dent in the can or box. I always buy the discounted bananas and other fruit and turn it into smoothies I can eat throughout the week. Just because an item isn’t perfect, does not mean it can’t be turned into something delicious!
- Plan ahead. I am the biggest culprit of NOT doing this. I’ll go to the store and buy whatever I think looks good or is on sale and not have any meals in mind to make with my purchases. Take an hour of your time and build a menu for the week so you go in with a plan and an idea of how much you’re going to be spending.
- Use your resources. The Internet has tons of recipes for cheap, healthy vegan meal ideas, as well as hundreds of tips I haven’t mentioned. There are also great (cheap) cookbooks that I recommend and use weekly. Simply Vegan and Conveniently Vegan are two of my favorites. Finally, use coupons! I often forget about these valuable little things or associate them with crazy mom coupon-ers, but they actually come in handy and most are available on smart phone apps so you do not need to print them out.
One more thing, did you know that a eating a vegan diet can save you about $3.50 a day? Check it out here. So no more excuses that eating vegan is to expensive!