vegan on a budget

Best Tips for How to be Vegan on a Budget

Are you trying to find out how to be vegan on a budget or how to go vegan on a budget? For tips on how to eat vegan on a tight grocery budget?

Well, I have a secret to tell you a secret that has been hidden away for a long time. You can eat healthy on a budget. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe! We’ve all heard those people put down the thought that you could be vegan while saving money. But it’s possible!

In fact, I would argue that eating on a vegan diet can actually be cheaper if done right. As long as you don’t go crazy with health and superfoods or expensive vegan products.

People may think that most vegans live off of tofu, veggie burgers, and vegan cheese but they would be wrong. Many of us eat just like anyone else, just without the animal products.

So, if you want some tips on how to eat vegan on a budget then keep reading because here are some of my top tips to help you stick to your grocery budget!

How to Be Vegan on a Budget

Now don’t let the idea of following a set of shopping rules turn you off! These rules are very flexible and bendy. Not at all a perfect science or restrictive.

These are just little reminders to help you better plan, prepare and shop for your vegan friendly grocery trip. All being simple and budget-friendly of course and these tips can be adapted to your lifestyle.

Whether you are a college student, single, a couple, or if you are shopping for a full family! These rules are still adaptable to you to help you follow a plant-based diet on a budget.

Related: How to Start Eating a Vegan Diet for Beginners

Meal Plan

I love me a good meal plan! I don’t know how people even manage to grocery shop let alone eat without one. And if you are like me and are obsessed with meal planning then you are already one step ahead.

Walking into a grocery store with nothing but a mental list of things that you have run out of is a risky thing to do. Let alone a very ineffective thing to do if you want to eat healthy while staying on budget. This is a road that will only lead to the overspending of food items that you don’t need.

Meal planning allows you to pick out recipes and meals beforehand. So that you know exactly what to get and how much of it. Drastically cutting down on your grocery bill as you only buy the necessities.

Meal planning also encourages healthier eating. As you can plan to make those healthy recipes that you saved over the weekend! Helping you and your family to eat a healthier vegan diet. Answering the question of how to eat vegan on a budget while still eating healthy.

There are many helpful shopping guides that you can follow when meal planning or you can just go with your gut.

You could look into getting some Vegan cookbooks like this Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon. Or for a cookbook that helps you create a meal plan you could try this Plant-Based Diet Meal Plan by Heather Nicholds.

Related: Vegan Food List for Beginners

Shop Your Cupboard

This is a vital step in cutting back on your grocery bill. Don’t plan your meals or go grocery shopping before you have shopped around in your cupboards to see what you already have.

There will be weeks where you can almost live entirely off of the food that you already have in your house! You know, all of that rice and pasta and canned goods. Not to mention what’s been hiding away in your freezer.

Sometimes we can be real pack rats and store up way more food than we actually need. Use that to your advantage and plan your meals according to what you already have that needs to be eaten up.

There are many amazing vegan pantry foods that you can stock up on when they are on sale. So that you can have a few weeks here and there where you do a pantry dive.

This is one of the most effective and yet the easiest tips when it comes to how to be vegan on a budget.

Set a Grocery Budget

You can’t shop on a budget until you’ve decided on the budget, so this step is very important if you want to avoid overspending.

Look at your past grocery bills, how much did you spend on average? How much of that food went to waste, was forgotten, or ended up being added to your already full kitchen cupboards?

Figure out how much excess you usually spend and subtract that to get a realistic budget that allows you to get everything that you need. While taking away the ability to overspend on unneeded items.

You would be amazed at how much you could really cut back when it comes to how to eat vegan on a budget. We often tend to spend way more than we need to on grocery trips.

This is a very simple step and shouldn’t take more than an hour or two. But it can make such a big difference.

Take Your Time Shopping

Now, this can be a real game-changer for the person who usually fly’s through the process of grocery shopping!

If you really want to save money and get the best deals possible you are going to have to slow down and look. Those price tags are pretty small and if you aren’t paying attention you could be passing up some pretty great deals.

Look at what you normally buy and try a cheaper option. The worst that can happen is that you don’t like it. But if you do like it then there you go! You will continue to save money buying that item all because you stopped long enough to look at better prices.

This is something that I only started to practice recently for myself. But it has made such a big difference. So much so, that I probably shave off a good $15 to $20 dollars off of my grocery trips! It might not seem like much but it adds up fast.

The best tip when it comes to finding better-priced food items is to just keep your eyes peeled and to take your time. Don’t get so busy that you don’t have time to save a little money!

Shop Smarter

Whether you are single, married or in a family of six, we could all do to shop a little smarter. And by shop smarter, I mean deciding when buying bigger quantities will save you money.

I know that we all hate to pay more for a bigger bag of rice or for the ten-pound bag of frozen vegetables over the five-pound bag. But you have to think of the end goal which is to save money. Sometimes that means spending a few dollars more on certain items for more savings in the long run.

If you know that you are going to need to buy rice next week because a smaller bag won’t last very long, then buy the bigger bag. Usually greater quantities are cheaper in the long run and as long as it’s something that you generally need it will usually save you money.

This is another area where meal planning comes in handy as you can see ahead of time what you will need to buy more of.

Buying in bulk is not only cheaper in the long run but it can cut back on your waste and on extra time.

vegan on a budget

Follow Sales

Another important tip when it comes to how to be vegan on a budget is to follow sales. Of course, I also have to mention the importance of not buying things just because they are on sale. A sale is supposed to save you money not take it away.

If it isn’t something that you are going to use or that you normally buy it will still be a waste of money. Even if it has been marked down and is a great deal. Only buy items that you know you will actually be using.

Try to follow your grocery store’s monthly and weekly sales. Look them over before you make your meal plan because you can plan according to what’s on sale if you find foods that you would normally buy.

Sales are also a good time to shop smarter A.K.A. stock up on items that you would normally buy at the average price. This is not only so handy when it comes to planning your meals but it saves you time on future grocery trips.

Shop for Your Lifestyle

We all know that the main goal of eating healthy is to have a balance and to eat plenty of vegetables and fruit. But that isn’t going to look the same for everyone.

This is very true when it comes to how to eat vegan on a budget, as many vegan foods tend to be produce.

If you travel a lot or work long days maybe canned goods and frozen vegetables would be the better option for you. If you have the luxury of being at home or working shorter days, then you can buy more fresh produce.

It’s all about catering to your lifestyle because eating healthy isn’t a one size fits all kind of lifestyle, especially not when it comes to eating a vegan diet.

Some fruits and vegetables that I would recommend to anyone for having a long shelf life are potatoes, carrots, onions, squash, and celery. For fruit, you can get apples and oranges. These fresh foods have a pretty long shelf life and will usually stay good until you get the chance to eat them.

A big part of how to go vegan on a budget is not wasting the food that you paid for. Because wasting food means that you are wasting your money as well. This is why it is so important to shop smart and to shop for your lifestyle.

Plan a Treat

Another thing to remember when looking for how to be vegan on a budget is to not forget about the treats!

Without something special, you will end up caving in and breaking your budget with unnecessary snacks and trips eating out. If you plan for a treat you can pick out options that fit into your budget. Something that can curb those cravings and give you something to look forward to!

This can either be grabbing a pint of vegan ice cream, a package of vegan cookies, or the ingredients to do some baking at home.

This will help you to avoid caving into any midweek cravings. You should plan out your grocery trip so well that you don’t have to eat out or go back to the grocery store until your next shopping trip.

Don’t Stray from Your List

Another very important tip to remember when it comes to how to eat vegan on a budget is to not stray from your grocery list. You spent too much time meal planning according to your budget to mess up now!

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when grocery shopping is to start to shop off of your list. This will add up fast and before you know it you are way over your budget.

Not only does this break your grocery budget it is also completely unnecessary. If you did the planning beforehand then you shouldn’t need to buy anything that wasn’t added to your shopping list.

The only excuse I would make for this is if you see something that you would normally buy marked down significantly. If that is the case it might be a smart choice to stock up while you can. But other than that scenario, it is never a good idea to stray from your shopping list.

Having a grocery list pad will help you to focus more on your list and not get too distracted. I find that a list on my phone just never does the trick, while a paper list keeps me on track!

Limit Vegan Products

Possibly one of the most important tips for those going vegan or trying to eat a cheaper vegan diet is to limit vegan products. products like vegan ice cream, meat substitutes, and cheese and dairy substitutes.

These vegan foods are a bit more costly and can add up very quickly while giving you very small amounts of actual food.

It is these kinds of specialty products that are going to lean your grocery bill towards the more expensive side. So, these types of foods need to be limited in order to have a cheap vegan grocery budget.

Related: Tips for Going Vegan That I Wish I Had Known Sooner

Is it Cheaper to be Vegan?

If you are looking at how to go vegan on a budget you may be wondering if it is cheaper to be vegan. Most people would say no but is that true? Is it really more expensive to eat a vegan diet or is it cheaper?

The simple answer is that eating a vegan diet is just like any other kind of diet. It is only as expensive as you make it.

There is expensive vegan food and there is cheap vegan food. Whether or not your vegan diet is expensive or cheap is going to fall entirely on your shoulders.

Many vegan foods such as grains, beans, pasta, and many kinds of produce are some of the cheapest food options. This is why eating a vegan diet can be very cost-effective!

As long as you limit buying expensive, specialty vegan products your diet should be considerably cheap. It is only when people buy into the need to always have expensive vegan snacks and foods that their diet becomes excessive.

How to be Vegan on a Budget Conclusion

Eating a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be hard and definitely not expensive! After a few grocery trips using these methods, I’m certain that you will be able to see the difference.

It only takes a little extra effort and you will be able to eat a vegan diet while saving more money. It just might leave you wondering why you didn’t start using these shopping tips sooner! 

What shopping tips do you follow to cut back on your grocery bill? Do you have any tips that weren’t mentioned in this post?

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