Eating Plant Based on a budget
One of the number one concerns that I hear about the most when it comes to switching to a plant based diet, is that it is too expensive. If you’re one of the many people who feel this way, I hope that after you read this article it will help you to understand how to begin eating healthier on a budget. It will also help you to understand why you think eating healthier is more expensive.
Preparation - Have you ever went into the grocery store not knowing what you were going to eat for the week ahead? Then when you get to the register you spend more money than you anticipated, and when you get home you have no idea what to cook? No matter what ‘diet’ you are on, you’re likely to overspend if you don’t prepare your meals. Having an idea of what you’ll eat for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner will allow you to only pick up the foods that you will need for your meals. This will also result in less food waste, which you should also know by now is contributing to global issues. Check here for more information.
Buy Your Dry Goods from the Bulk Section - Beans, Grains and even spices are much cheaper when you purchase them in bulk. Yes, it can be a pain to prepare them (for times sake), but you save money and you also load up on more to keep in your pantry so that you don’t have to buy them during each grocery visit. If where you live, there are not any grocery stores that have them in bulk, then you can always buy dry beans and grains in a package, or buy them canned. IF YOU PURCHASE CANNED FOODS, then please make sure that the lining of the can is at least BPA free.
Shop at International Markets - If you’re looking for more unique food items, you’ll find them here. If you’re looking to save money, you’ll also hit the jackpot here. Not all food here is organic, however so be mindful of this if that is a problem for you.
Know which Grocery Stores have Better Prices - After checking out several grocery stores in my area, I know now know where to go in order to shop for certain items. For example, I will shop my local farmers market for good organic and ripe fruit, I go to Aldi or Sprouts for fresh greens , veggies and snacks, and Whole Foods if I do want vegan substitutes. Just remember that the vegan substitutes are more costly.
Don’t buy replacements - Here is why you fear being vegan is too expensive. When you are trying to replace the food items that you currently eat with vegan replacements, your grocery bill will sky rocket. These foods are just as, if not more expensive than what you are currently spending on for a non vegan item. If you absolutely need to buy these items, eat them sparingly and don’t load up on them all at once in a single grocery haul.
Make Your Own Condiments - From Salad dressings to dipping sauces, you will find that you will save a ton when you make them at home. This will require some trial and error as you begin creating sauces that you love, like BBQ Sauce, Ketchup, Ranch dressing, etc. Not only are you saving money, but you are also saving yourself the guilt from indulging in sauces that have a lot of sugars and also ingredients that you may not even know about. At least you know what’s going in your sauce, because YOU MADE IT!
Cook at home - Just like making your own sauce, cooking at home will save you money and also inches from around your waist. Many restaurants cook with vegetable oils which are very toxic and fattening. I hate to put this in your brain, but sometimes cooks do not practice safe hygiene, and may also wound themselves during meal preparation which can increase the chances of spreading sickness. We take that chance any time we eat out. Not to mention, eating a decent meal for one or two would be about the same price as a week of grocery shopping. Cooking at home not only allows you to control the ingredients, but this time with your family allows you to bond with them and enjoy the fruits of your labor…literally.
Grow Your Own Food - This is self explanatory (if it applies to you). If you’re growing your own food, you don’t have to dish out extra money for food. You also skip over any added pesticides that you might not know about. If you do not have a personal garden at your home, try looking up community gardens in your neighborhood.
I hope these were helpful tips for you! If you have any tips that save you money, share them below!