Most people avoid trying a vegan diet because they think its too expensive, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Being vegan on a tight budget is not as inconceivable as many think. In fact, it can actually be less expensive than most conventional diets. This I know from experience as I’ve supported a vegan family of 3 on a budget of $ 300 a month using my self-devised strategy, which I’ll gladly share with you.
Let’s start with the power of coupons. I’m always on the lookout for coupons, which are a rare find for vegan food. Nonetheless, I browse vegan food manufacturing sites, get coupon booklets and sales papers from local organic markets and co-ops, and try whatever else comes to mind. Next, I shop with re-usable bags because every penny counts. Also, I do all of my shopping once a month. You’d be surprised at how much more you spend when you make several trips to the store throughout the month versus doing it all at once. I also store-hop to get the most for my money. I usually end up going to a total of 5 stores.
Next, the true art is in the shopping. For starters, if its processed, then bypass. Instead, buy fresh food in bulk and within the next few days cook a series of dishes that can be frozen, like vegetable pot pies. This way you enjoy both the cost savings and the free time because now you won’t have to cook everyday. Also, buying fresh foods that you can freeze, like corn and broccoli, will help you realize cost savings as well. Another strategy is to buy ingredients for dishes that are filling and can be used to create other meals. For instance, leftover beans and rice could make a great soup. A lot of money is wasted on processed foods that don’t yield nearly as many servings as food made from scratch. Next, read labels. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it. More than likely its packed with fillers and fillers fill bank accounts not stomachs. Lastly, pay attention to the quantity and quality to ensure that you get bang for your buck.
Eating healthy does not have to cost you more. It just takes some creativity. Our parents and grandparents were successful at it and we can be too. In fact, I learned many of these strategies from my grandmother. I remember sitting with her going through the paper, clipping coupons and looking to see what store had certain items on sale. So I integrated her wisdom with my penny-pinching savvy to develop a system that allows me to realize cost savings, feed my family responsibly with time left over to enjoy doing more of the things that I like to do, which doesn’t include balancing a checkbook.