page title icon How to be Vegan on a Budget

How to be Vegan on a Budget

If you’re thinking about going vegan, we bet you’ve got a few questions. One of the most common is “how can I be vegan on a budget?”.

Contrary to popular belief, it is indeed possible to eat a vegan diet on a budget. In fact, it can be even cheaper than eating meat and dairy! Here are our top tips.

Don’t buy too much gear

It’s a myth that you need to entirely revamp your kitchen to take on a vegan diet. The only bit of kit that you might want to invest in is a good tofu press, like the ones sold at Tofubud.

You need to press most tofu before cooking it to squeeze out its moisture, and a sturdy tofu press will ultimately lead to tastier tofu. However, if you want to cut costs, you could also make your own DIY tofu press with dishcloths and weights.

There’s not much else that you need to start being vegan – most vegans who live with non-vegans are happy to share cooking utensils, as long as they have been washed between uses, but of course, that is up to you.

If you want to start making vegan food from scratch further down the line, you might like to buy a milk bag or a food processor, but you really don’t need these initially.

Avoid fake meat and dairy products

This is probably the best way to save money as a vegan. Fake meat and dairy products are expensive, and this is where vegans can easily end up spending a lot of money.

For example, some branded vegan burgers, like Beyond Meat burgers, can cost up to $7 in some stores – whereas meat burgers are a lot cheaper. This is where the idea that veganism is expensive comes from!

However, if you buy non-processed ingredients instead, you will probably spend less than you would on an omnivorous diet.

Stock up on tinned and dry pulses

One of the best types of vegan food to buy is pulses. Pulses are lentils, beans, and chickpeas – you can either purchase these canned and ready to eat or buy them dry.

Either way is cheap – here’s how to decide which type to buy.

  • If you purchase dry pulses, you’ll be able to get them in bulk, and you’ll probably save a lot of money. However, they are quite fiddly to cook, and it’s essential to make sure that you cook them thoroughly, as some uncooked pulses are toxic and can cause food poisoning.
  • Canned pulses, on the other hand, are a lot more convenient. They are pre-cooked – you can simply add them to any meal or even eat them out the tin! They are still very affordable, but when you compare the amount you’ll get in a can to the amount you can buy dry, they are comparatively more expensive.

Eating pulses is a great way to ensure that you get enough protein. You can add them to dishes like curries, chilies, or stir-fries, or even eat them with a salad.

Buy frozen vegetables and fruit

This is an excellent tip for anybody looking to save money on food – but especially if you are a vegan, as you might eat more fruit and vegetables than non-vegans.

You can purchase most fruit and vegetables frozen; green beans, broccoli, carrot, mango, and strawberries are some of our favorites.

You can easily add these pre-chopped fruit and veg pieces to any dish or eat frozen fruit straight out of the freezer – this is so refreshing on a summer day!

You’ll be able to get a lot more for your money when you do this, resulting in saving money and probably eating more fruit and veg too!

Make your own sauces

Rather than investing in expensive sauces, why not make your own? You can make an excellent tomato-based sauce from just chopped tomatoes and a few spices, or create a chili sauce with fresh chili and garlic.

Be savvy about where you shop

Some places are considerably cheaper than others for shopping. Here are some things to consider:

  • Shop at superstores known for their good value products, like Walmart.
  • Consider shopping at some specialty stores. For example, Asian supermarkets often sell tofu at cheaper prices than superstores.
  • Go shopping later on in the evening, when items have been discounted.
  • Try farmer’s markets for cheap vegetables.

Being vegan can be expensive, but it can also be very affordable. Consider avoiding fake meat, buying frozen veg, and relying on pulses to make your vegan shop budget-friendly. Eating a responsible and ethical diet doesn’t have to cost the world if you know a few simple tips, and hopefully, this blog post has shown that!

About Carissa Taylor

Carissa is the founder and creator of the Gliving. With an emphasis on healthy eating and living, Carissa's recipes and food photography have been featured in various publications including the Food Network Blog, Huffington Post, TODAY Food, and more.