How to Eat Vegan on a Budget (The Whole Food Plant-Based Way)Written by Ali Donahue
Worried your new whole food plant-based lifestyle is going to increase your grocery bill? That makes sense because a sad fact of life in America is whole food is more expensive than processed. Let’s work to change that together! However, in the meantime, we want to give you some pro tips about how to eat vegan on a budget (the healthy whole food plant-based way).
Here is how you can enjoy a delicious and healthy lifestyle, without your grocery bill eating up your bank account!
The Full Story
There are plenty of myths about whole food plant-based eating. One of the biggest misconceptions is that eating this way is just too expensive for most people. But a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to cost you a pretty penny. It’s about more than just knowing where you can buy high-quality meals for less; it’s about developing the right habits -- and MamaSezz is here to guide you with our seven tips for eating vegan meals on a budget. Here are our 7 favorite ways to eat vegan on a budget (the whole food plant-based way).
1. Shop around
Did you know that prices at high-end natural market can be 10 to 20% higher than those at traditional grocery stores? Our #1 money-saving pro tip is to search out locally owned grocery stores that offer good quality fruits and veggies and bulk foods like nuts and organic canned goods. Then stock up! A 20% savings on groceries can add up fast.
Bonus tips: hit up local farmer’s markets in your area to see if you can get any good deals on in-season produce. Or search for a CSA (Community Support Agriculture) in your area -- a great way to buy local produce directly from farmers and save money, to boot. We also love services which ship "ugly" produce at a discounted price (because at MamaSezz it is what's inside that counts). Here is two options - Imperfect Produce and Misfits Market.
2. Eat at home
When you go out to eat you’re paying (on average) three times as much for your meal as you do if you eat it at home. So get familiar with your kitchen (these vegan cooking hacks will help!) and explore plant-based recipes with minimal ingredients to keep things simple and budget-friendly. MamaSezz you get bonus points if you grow your own produce in a home or community garden.
3. Plan ahead (and don’t shop hungry!)
We’ve all been there. Hangry in the grocery aisle, loading up our cart with anything and everything that looks good. Not so great for our wallets or our health. So don’t wait until your stomach is growling to head to the grocery store. Instead, plan your meals in advance. Even better, buy your ingredients in bulk and then batch cook, so you’ll have something healthy and cost-friendly when hunger (or hanger) hits. Planning ahead and using similar base ingredients for several recipes can save you money and time meal prepping.
Need some help planning for your trip to the store? Here’s our go-to Vegan Grocery List on Budget.
4. Go with generic (and organic if possible)
Does your grocery store have a good organic generic brand? If the answer is yes you are in luck because these brands are cheaper and usually just as good quality. Make sure to check ingredients for B.S. (you know bad stuff) and then stock up on in-store brand pantry staples (especially if they go on sale).
5. Embrace the beans
Beans really are amazing. When you eat beans you get massive amounts of vital protein AND you stay full longer after mealtimes (thanks, fiber). Oh, and they won’t break the bank. Beans are cheap, friend!
Dried or canned? Either one is cost-effective compared to animal protein though dry beans usually cost less than canned beans and keep longer. Plus dried beans are lower in sodium than canned beans. But if saving time is as important as saving money (we hear you), you can absolutely purchase no-salt or low-salt canned beans. Just rinse well before using.
Ready to give beans their time to shine? Try out these quick and easy recipes:
- Dairy-Free Loaded Black Bean Soup
- Black Bean Avocado Toast
- Fudgy Vegan Brownies (yes there are beans in this plant-based dessert recipe)
6. Make double
Cooking takes time and energy, so the more meals you can get out of your kitchen time the better. Some people are happy to take this idea to the extreme, cooking and preparing a week’s worth of meals all at once. But if that seems like too much, just multiply your recipes by two. By doubling how much you make, you can save the leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. You can also freeze for later use.
Freezer-friendly whole food plant-based recipes to double-batch:
- Easy Vegan Alfredo Sauce with Broccoli and Pasta
- Quick and Easy Oil-Free Falafel Bites
- Oatmeal Muffins
7. Get to know your spice rack
Familiarizing yourself with herbs, spices, and seasonings is a great way to dress up budget-friendly plant-based dishes, like classic beans and rice. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with our best tips for seasoning without salt.
Whole food plant-based eating can be healthy, easy, and affordable. Just remember to:
- Comparison shop
- Make more meals at home
- Plan out your grocery shopping trips
- Buy generic products (organic when possible)
- Eat lots of beans
- Double your recipes
- Have fun with spices
About Mama Sezz
MamaSezz delivers hearty, delicious, prepared, ready to eat, whole food plant-based meals to your door that are:
- Organic, Non-GMO & Responsibly Sourced
- Vegan, Oil-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, No Preservatives, & Gluten-Free
- Made Fresh to Order - Never Frozen
- Ready to Heat & Eat - No Chopping
- Salt-Free & Soy-Free Options
Allison Hall (MamaSezz Customer)
"The best ship to home meal service out there, hands down. The food is delicious with just enough flavoring that you can jazz the meal up with your own spices if you wish. Nothing is bland or overly spicy. Best of all, they include a shipping label for you to return all the packing materials to them for free for reuse until ready for recycling. So easy and enjoyabl
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