There is a common belief that veganism is an expensive lifestyle choice. You might have even noticed those specialty foods such as vegan burgers and nuggets that can cost you more than their meat counterparts.
However, many are unaware that being a vegan offers plenty of options outside this box. In fact, a 2020 research suggested that vegans spend on average 40% less on food when compared to omnivores. But this means relying more on homemade food rather than choosing pre-cooked or packed vegan meals.
To shed some light on this perspective, let us discuss how you can adopt a vegan lifestyle and cut the costs at the same time.
How to Save Money As a Vegan
Below, we take a look at the different ways that you can save money while enjoying healthy, tasty, and cruelty-free food:
1. Learn to Cook
Perhaps the most important step in saving money, regardless of whether you are an omnivore or a vegan, is to learn to cook. It doesn’t matter whether you are a student; your cooking skills will be tremendously useful throughout your life. And if the lack of time is what’s stopping you, you can approach platforms such as EssayPro to offer some help with written assignments and term papers.
Fortunately, the internet is filled with tons of vegan recipes that will help you cook your favorite foods without much difficulty. Once you get the hang of things, you will also be able to adjust the meals to your specific tastes.
2. Buy Groceries Consciously
Another way to save money is to have a meal plan and plan for your grocery purchases accordingly. This way, you will only spend money on items that you will be using the following days. In other words, you won’t buy food that will go to waste.
Similarly, you can also buy items such as rice, flour, or oatmeal in large quantities. These are staples that you will likely use on an everyday basis, depending on the type of food you make. The same goes for fruits as well. In a nutshell, the idea is to make a plan on what you will eat and stick to purchasing only those food items.
3. Try Meal Prep
If you have a tight schedule, you might be relying a lot on restaurants for your lunches and dinners. And as we discussed, vegan food in restaurants on a regular basis can turn out to be costly.
Instead, you can set aside one day per week to do meal prep for the rest of the week. You will even find that there are people who make money by preparing weekly meals for others.
This means that you will cook in bulk and store your meals for every day separately. This way, you will only have to reheat the day’s meal before eating. This can not only save time, but you will also be able to cut your expenses.
4. Take Advantage of Seasonal Food
A vegan diet can also be cheap if you include a lot of seasonal fruits and vegetables in your diet. The cost of produce varies drastically from one place to another, but it also changes based on the time of the year. And when you eat what’s in season, you not only get fresh food, but you can also get the best price.
And if you want to prioritize quality food, it would be a good idea to ditch supermarkets and head out to the local farmer’s market. This will also allow you to support local businesses and might also be able to find organic and bio options.
5. Fresh Isn’t Always Best
That being said, you do not always have to purchase fresh food, especially if you end up not eating it. You can find canned, frozen, or other preserved alternatives for many food items, which can be an excellent way to supplement your meals.
For instance, canned tomatoes can be way more affordable than fresh. For certain recipes, they might work even better. You can also purchase frozen berries, peas, and spinach, which will make it easier to store and be more economical. This will also eliminate the need for you to do grocery shopping frequently, saving you time as well.
6. Replace Vegan With Vegetarian
When switching to a vegan lifestyle, it is a common tendency to try to replace the flavor of meat in your diet. This is the main reason why many choose vegan burgers and patties that mimic the texture of meat. However, in most cases, the majority of people get disappointed with the taste of substitutes. After all, these are not meat.
Instead, we suggest that you try vegetarian options. For instance, rather than choosing vegan nuggets, opt for potatoes. You can replace vegan patties with vegetable patties. When done right, these can taste much better than their vegan counterparts.
7. Explore Different Cuisines
Another point to remember is that you do not necessarily have to go to a “vegan restaurant” to try great vegan food. Instead, there are several cuisines that offer a myriad of vegetarian options. You can check out some of the following based on your preferences:
- Indian cuisine – dishes include a variety of vegetarian curries, pieces of bread such as roti, a selection of rice, and more.
- Middle Eastern cuisine – try vegetarian options such as falafel, hummus, and bread.
- Mexican restaurants – have tons of vegetarian tacos, vegetarian sausages, and bean-and-rice varieties.
- Chinese/Japanese/Vietnamese restaurants – plenty of dishes with Tofu, vegan ramen, and more.
As evident, there are dozens of cuisines that explore vegetarian options and offer you tons of variety. If you are willing to expand your horizons and try different restaurant options, you would be surprised to know the types of vegetarian food choices available around the world.
8. Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs
If there are specific shops you go to all the time, you should also sign up for the loyalty program. This can be a useful way for you to access big discounts. Some shops also give you cashback for points you earn.
Be sure to ask your favorite grocery stores about their reward programs. You might also be able to benefit from reward points for using certain credit/debit cards.
When Does Veganism Get Expensive
There are a number of ways that you can adopt to be a vegan without having to succumb to an expensive lifestyle. That said, it is also crucial to acknowledge why veganism has such an expensive reputation.
One of the reasons for this is the popularity of ‘Instagram-perfect meals’ promoted by social media influencers. They often use superfoods and organic products to dress up their meals, giving the impression that a vegan diet can cost you significantly more than a non-vegan one.
However, it is crucial to understand that there are several ways to follow a vegan diet, as we discussed in the article. There are cheaper ingredients and different cuisines that you can explore to create budget-friendly vegan meals. While it might take you a while to adapt to a different lifestyle, you will indeed be able to find cheaper alternatives to meat-based diets.
In simple words, is veganism more expensive than being an omnivore? Not necessarily. Similar to the other diets and life choices, this depends on what you pick to eat and how you choose to plan for meals.