There’s this large misconception that healthy foods and healthy lifestyle is expensive and it couldn’t be further from the truth. Being vegan is very cheap, because it isn’t all about chia seeds and goji berries (which are expensive by the way). But if you’re mindful about what you buy and where, being healthy and vegan on a budget is easy as pie (but like non-dairy pie…).
Always keep staples
I always have dry beans, dry lentils, rice, and potatoes on hand at any given time. Not only are the incredibly filling but they’re also dirt cheap. One pound of dry beans will make on average about 12 servings of cooked beans (approximately 1/2 cup servings). That’s about 0.15 cents per serving… Buying already cooked beans doubles or even triples that cost per serving depending on if it’s a name brand or generic.
Cooking any kind of bean couldn’t be easier in a crock-pot. 1 cup of dry beans, 6-8 cups of liquid, some spices, 8 hours on low, and boom! COOKED BEANS.
Shop at the forgotten stores
I randomly ended up in Big Lots the other day for ornament hangers, which were only $1 by the way for 28 of them, which was more than enough to adorn my 6ft. tree. ANYWAYS, I totally forgot they sell food there and I was curious enough to peruse the isles. I found organic Kashi Cereal for $2.80 (0.23 cents per serving), and Nature’s Path Organic Oatmeal for $2.50 (0.31 cents per serving). That’s a $1.12 savings on the cereal and a $2.29 savings on the oatmeal. For $7.80 I have breakfast for 28 days straight, all organic and vegan for 0.27 cents per day… Pretty sure I’ve spent that much on Starbucks coffee and a muffin for one single day!!
Regrow some vegetables
If you have a window and a cup, you can regrow vegetables. Check out the infographic from Whole Foods below to check out how:
Be selective about organic produce
There’s a “Dirty Dozen” for produce that you should buy organic due to pesticide levels in conventional farming (according to the Environmental Working Group), which are:
- Bell Peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
When these things are on sale, it’s a good idea to stock up, use, and then freeze them. For example, you can buy a ton of spinach and blend it up with water and freeze into ice cube trays for easy green smoothies. Or you can make homemade marinara sauce with a bunch of tomatoes.
*Note: while I totally support buying organic, don’t let that stop you from buying these things at all. My rule of thumb is if the difference is under $1, I buy organic, it not I buy conventional*
Often times, people struggle with veganism (myself included), because it becomes cumbersome. You’re always eating roasted vegetables with rice and beans, or salads or smoothies. BUT it doesn’t have to be that way for example, you *could* pour some garbanzo beans and red onion on top of some lettuce for a salad, OR you could grab some herbs, spices, and garlic and make some falafel for a pita with some tahini, cucumbers and have yourself a little Greek pita. Or on the same note, you could a red onion and garbanzo beans to make chickpea salad sandwiches.
It’s all about switching it up and getting creative with your ingredients. You can find all of my vegan recipes I need to try here!