Contrary to popular belief, a vegan diet doesn’t have to be expensive. Of course, there are some exotic plants and products that can break the bank, but most vegans choose ingredients for their nutritional properties. This doesn’t mean that the ingredients have to be pricey.
In case you are a vegan on a limited budget, there are some tips and tricks you can use to get the best foods at reasonable prices. It might require some research and careful planning, but you will surely eat healthy vegan meals without going broke.
If you want to know how to eat vegan on a budget, give the following guidelines a try.
Eating fruits and vegetables that are in-season is not only budget-friendly, but it also allows you to get the best out of these foods.
Off-season fruits and vegetables are sometimes much more expensive. This is because they are imported or grown under special conditions. When the producers factor in the overhead, shipping, and upkeep, the prices skyrocket.
However, a lot of the in-season foods for your vegan diet are grown locally and naturally. There is much less upkeep and the shipping cost is lower. What’s more, you are getting the best nutrition from these plants because they are fresh.
Forage the Local Markets
Wondering how to eat vegan on a budget? Well, your local markets are usually great places to find healthy nutritious foods at reasonable prices.
Search your neighborhood to locate the best markets you can find. It doesn’t hurt to ask around a little either. Other people, vegan or non-vegan, are usually more than willing to give you the latest scoop about the best places that sell fresh foods.
You should know that some markets open only on weekends or at designated hours. This information is usually posted on the Internet or on local bulletin boards. Some of the seniors in your neighborhood might also be a great source of information about the local markets in your area.
Befriend a Farmer
The number of small-scale local farmers that produce healthy organic foods is growing, even around densely populated urban areas.
What’s more, a lot of these farmers are quite tech-savvy, so you can easily find them on the Internet. Instagram, for example, is a platform quite a few contemporary farmers utilize to advertise their produce. A simple online search should thus yield a plentitude of places that grow affordable vegan foods.
Don’t hesitate to pay the farmer you like a visit. They love doing business face-to-face, and you might even get some discounts for your effort. On top of that, you will be able to witness their farming practices and conditions first-hand.
Buy in Bulk
This might not sound like a good tip on how to eat vegan on a budget, because buying more equals spending more. However in reality, buying in bulk can do wonders for your budget.
This is especially true if you are visiting a local farmer or market. Most of the farmers or market retailers will be willing to offer you special prices if you buy in bulk. It might take some negotiating, but you will usually end up with quite a bargain for your food.
You need to be careful about the foods you buy in bulk, though. Some foods go bad quicker than others, or they require special upkeep. But if you lay out a wise plan for your vegan diet, you won’t end up throwing away expired food.
Make Your Own Meals
It should go without saying that eating at vegan restaurants on a regular basis can be quite expensive, though you can treat yourself to an occasional dinner with friends, since there are budget vegan restaurants as well.
However, making your own vegan meals gives you better control and understanding of the foods you take in. Take your time to prepare a lunch box, so that you don’t depend on food stalls. This might require some extra effort on your part, but it pays large dividends in the long run.
Don’t worry if you are not a fan of cooking. Most vegan meals take less than half an hour to prepare, and they include only a few ingredients.
Make Your Own Drinks
Some off-the-shelf vegan drinks can be quite expensive. Thankfully, there is no need to spend your hard earned cash since you can make them at home.
Use the ingredients you get from your local farmer and blend them into a tasty drink. You can use some vegan sweeteners for added flavor. In a couple of minutes, you’ll have a tasty nutritious drink at a fraction of the price you’d pay for a ready-made one.
Get Whole Foods
One of the top tips on how to eat vegan on a budget is to buy whole foods. Besides being budget-friendly, whole foods are the healthiest and most nutritious option you can get.
These foods are not processed in any way, which makes them less expensive. What’s more, they are readily available no matter where you buy them. Starchy foods such as potatoes, brown rice, or oats are a great option for your budget-friendly vegan diet.
That’s not to mention the fact that most fruits and vegetables, even the organic ones, can be found at reasonable prices. Nuts can also be quite affordable, especially if you buy in bulk.
Research Your Foods Thoroughly
Thorough research, both online and offline, is paramount to get a better understanding of how to eat vegan on a budget.
Your research should provide invaluable information about the best places to buy food. It will also find you budget-friendly vegan recipes. Don’t hesitate to browse vegan message boards to pick up some tips and tricks from other members of the community.
There are also more than a few vegan blogs that provide a great repository of simple and affordable vegan meals. They can give other insightful guidelines about the vegan lifestyle that could have a positive effect on your budget.
The Last Bite
These simple guidelines can give you a better understanding of how to eat vegan on a budget. Remember, being a vegan is a matter of wise lifestyle choices. It is thus advisable to plan in advance and prepare well before you go out to purchase vegan foods.
Of course, you can still splurge a little every once in a while and treat yourself to a tasty exotic fruit or vegetable!