Veganism

Vegan on a Budget

I constantly hear people say that they don’t have enough money to eat healthier. They “can’t afford to be vegan”.  It’s actually a myth that healthy food is more expensive than junk food (unless you live in a food desert, which is a completely different issue). In the long run, whole plant foods are more affordable and way better for your health and the environment. It doesn’t have to be hard or expensive to eat plant-based. With the tips I provide you and a little planning, you will realize how easy it can be to adopt this lifestyle.

  1. Buy in season. If you prefer fresh produce (who doesn’t), buy fruits and veggies in season. Avoid buying summer fruits and vegetables in the winter and vice versa. Squash is more affordable in autumn and winter. Avocados and tropical fruits are less expensive in the summer. Potatoes and starchy vegetables are typically affordable year round. In my area, spinach and kale is around the same price all year as well. If it’s more expensive to buy fresh, go for the frozen option.
  2. Buy frozen. Fruits and vegetables are actually frozen at peak freshness, so buying the frozen option allows your food to stay fresh for longer and it is also more affordable. I prefer to buy broccoli and most of my fruit frozen. Corn is also good to buy frozen. You don’t have to worry about using your fruit or vegetables before they go bad because you can store them in the freezer for an extended period of time.
  3. Avoid name brand. If you are buying packaged food, you don’t need to get the name brand version. Just get the generic version (if it’s vegan friendly) because it is most likely exactly the same. Some generic products are even manufactured by the same company that produces the name brand version.
  4. Minimize the “organic” products. Occasionally, I do buy organic products. However, it is common for products to be labeled organic in order to justify the higher price. If eating organic is super important to you-that’s great, but you might have to adjust your budget. Buying organic potatoes, bananas, and dark leafy greens won’t leave you broke and they might be better. You do not need organic packaged food because it’s essentially the same.
  5. Buy rice, legumes, some pastas, potatoes, etc. Stick to whole plant foods, rice, beans, and pastas. You don’t need to buy various meat alternatives or vegan junk food items. Buy the most affordable plant-based options at your grocery store and buy those each week.
  6. Shop at different places. Where I live, there are two main grocery stores. One has more affordable packaged goods and the other has more quality fresh vegetables and fruit. I shop at both to get the most out of my money. This can be time-consuming, so I do this on days I don’t have work or school. Additionally in some states, there are programs where you can have discarded produce sent to you. This is also a good option if you want to save money.
  7. Make a list. This seems obvious, but a lot of people don’t do this. Write down your plan and follow it. This will help keep you on track and help you avoid impulse purchases.
  8. Do your best. Don’t over think buying groceries. It isn’t supposed to be a stressful situation. You don’t have to completely overhaul your lifestyle overnight. Slowly add more plant-based foods into your grocery shopping. Do some research and shop around. Also, cruelty free makeup and hair care should come second to what you eat (especially on a budget). I have been vegan for a year and not all of my cleaning products, hair products, skin care, and makeup products are 100% cruelty free. My goal is to get nearly all cruelty free and vegan products, but I don’t use these products very often and I don’t want to waste the products I have. Putting so much pressure on yourself, will turn you off from the vegan lifestyle. Trying your best is all you can really do. Start with food and then go from there.

It can be overwhelming to change your diet and lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to be expensive or hard. The vegan lifestyle is so amazing and money shouldn’t be a deterrent. On average, I spend $40 for 10 days worth of groceries. I don’t spend money at restaurants, so I save money in that aspect. In the summer, my groceries can be as cheap as $20 for a week. If you live on the coast, your groceries will probably be even less expensive. I hope this helps you in your vegan journey. If you have tips or advice, leave them in the comments!

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    raynotbradbury
    March 12, 2018 at 6:13 am

    to eat healthy is expensive 🙂 I know that, because I’m eating healthy and all organic (80% of the time cooking from the scratch at home). To buy organic you have to pay double price here in Sweden (as everywhere else, i guess). A list and planning for a week helps, thats right 🙂 but anyway…. usually I’m spending 300-400 dollar in a week. Only for 2 people and 2 dogs.

    • Reply
      Kaley
      March 12, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      In some places eating vegan or healthy is more expensive unfortunately. Where I live, there really isn’t a huge difference between organic and nonorganic. So I only buy some organic products. For me, it’s more important that everything is vegan/plant based than if it’s organic or not.

      • Reply
        raynotbradbury
        March 12, 2018 at 1:46 pm

        yes, i understood 🙂 I guess it is depends on the country.
        dont you scared of diff shit and chemicals?

        • Reply
          Kaley
          March 12, 2018 at 1:54 pm

          I wash everything. Also, I live in a rural area so most of the produce is local anyway.

          • raynotbradbury
            March 12, 2018 at 1:55 pm

            yes, then you are lucky :))

          • Kaley
            March 12, 2018 at 1:59 pm

            I do feel lucky, but I still try my best to save money!

  • Reply
    raynotbradbury
    March 12, 2018 at 6:13 am

    – you do not believe in eco-organic? ..

  • Reply
    Cathryn
    March 12, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Enjoyed your post.

    • Reply
      Kaley
      March 12, 2018 at 3:09 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Dietitian Mom
    March 16, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    This is a great helpful post! I agree that eating plant-based doesn’t have to be costly. It is completely doable and affordable!

    • Reply
      Kaley
      March 16, 2018 at 4:50 pm

      Thank you for reading! It is easy to make a budget for groceries. I try to keep everything simple!

  • Reply
    Apurva
    April 6, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Amazing blog!!! keep up the good work 🙂
    Would you care to check out mine too? Thanks. Be blessed
    https://theveganartist2017.wordpress.com/

    • Reply
      Kaley
      April 6, 2018 at 10:33 pm

      Thank you! I just checked yours out, nice!

  • Reply
    thetreekisser
    April 15, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Wow, $40 for 10 days- that’s impressive! I’m so bad with my food budget, but trying to be better. I’m growing my own vegetables for the first time this year, so hopefully that will make a big difference!

    • Reply
      Kaley
      April 15, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      Thank you and don’t worry because I’m also not consistent with my food budget. That’s so cool hat you’re growing your own vegetables! Thanks for commenting!

  • Reply
    Lorna
    April 28, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Nice post. I would love to see your grocery list for a week. Have you posted it before? I do try to buy organic for the “dirty dozen” as I can taste pesticides even when I give them a good washing. I can also feel the chemicals in my body afterwards. I would tell those people who can’t afford to go organic that they can’t afford not to! They’ll be paying the doctor later. Ouch!

    • Reply
      Kaley
      April 28, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      I can post my grocery list sometime. Thanks for the idea and thanks for commenting!

      • Reply
        Lorna
        April 29, 2018 at 3:50 am

        You’re welcome! I want to try shopping for a week and eating vegan to see if I can do it.

        • Reply
          Kaley
          April 29, 2018 at 11:51 am

          Eating vegan is not hard at all, I’m sure you could do it!

  • Reply
    justmemillymay
    May 3, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you for your post, having gone mostly vegan (I only egg now); i can honestly say it isn’t that much of a difference in price where I live 🙂

  • Reply
    sarahjacobsnyc
    May 17, 2018 at 12:38 am

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve found that buying whatever is sale, and being as easy going as possible about it, helps immensely. There’s also a lot of grocery store options and farmers markets around me, so that does make it easy. I’m (mostly) vegan in Brooklyn, NY. I just started a lifestyle blog that includes vegan restaurant tips and things to do (would love if you followed me, since we have overlapping interests:-) https://livedoseenyc.wordpress.com/2018/05/10/10-vegan-restaurants-in-nyc-to-try-right-now/

    • Reply
      Kaley
      May 17, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Thanks for commenting! Being easy going always helps and I will definitely check out your blog!

  • Reply
    Typical Grocery List // Vegan – Finding Purpose
    May 23, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    […] Vegan on a Budget […]

  • Reply
    leroy watson
    June 6, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Great tips! I like the ideal of trying our best and totally agree that a vegan diet is not expensive or hard with a little know-how. Thanks for sharing:)

    • Reply
      Kaley
      June 6, 2018 at 11:24 am

      Thank you for commenting and agreeing with me!

  • Reply
    Tinu
    July 2, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Aww this is soo nice.. I love all the tips you gave… Nice job dear👍

    Check out my new post.. Its on super easy tips to always look good..

    https://tinutrends.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/6-super-easy-tips-to-always-look-good-my-week-in-style/

  • Reply
    healthfulchel
    July 5, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Great tips!

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