Is Being Vegan Expensive?
More likely than not, you’ve heard people say the phrase, “Only rich people can be vegan” or “being vegan is too expensive!” Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to buy expensive juicing equipment to be vegan. You don’t need to eat a smoothie bowl every morning, either. There’s a lot of trendy images and videos circulating online that showcase a vegan lifestyle that certainly looks like an expensive diet that everyday people can’t indulge in. But that does not mean that is the only way to be vegan!
Being vegan, or even just being plant-based, isn’t any more expensive than other diets. No one should be barred from living a healthier lifestyle because of financial reasons. If you’re someone who has tried going plant-based and found that you were burning a hole in your wallet, the writers here at PlantX want to give you some tips on the best ways to stay healthy and eat nutritious plant-based meals on a budget.
Saving Money While Going Vegan
One of the biggest problems that people moving towards plant-based dieting face is distributing their budget efficiently. Excited would-be vegans might go for expensive pre-packaged items like seitan and other meat substitutes instead of focusing on some staples.
Here’s a list of items that you can buy in bulk that are great for plant-based meals!
- Rolled oats
- Flaxseed or hemp hearts
Of course, no-plant-based diet is complete without some leafy green veggies added into your shopping list! Always watch out for what vegetables are in season to help you determine what to put on your menu. This can also affect the price of your local produce. Fresh produce is great, but you should also consider stocking frozen veggies that are good for sauteing, steaming, or stir-frying. Pick up some extra bags when they go on sale for fast and easy meal prep. Frozen veggies can also add versatility to your menu and help cut down on food waste by not risking spoilage.
Here are some of our favorite veggies to keep in the freezer:
- Brussels sprouts
Don’t forget the fruit! Fruit is a fantastic snack, but fresh fruit might not always be in your budget. Consider buying frozen berries for an easy smoothie in the morning with rolled oats, your favorite milk substitutes, like almond or soy, and a banana. Rolled oats can make your smoothie more filling and are a great source of fiber. Peanut butter or almond butter can also give your smoothie an extra dose of healthy fats in the morning.
Adding a Dose of Healthy Fats
Even after purchasing some of these ingredients, you may still find yourself feeling hungry, or that your meals aren’t as filling as you expected. Many people starting a plant-based diet try to cut out too much at once to meet the expectations of what they think “healthy” eating is supposed to be. Always remember that keeping your macros balanced is just as important as what your meals are made from.
Proteins and healthy fats, meaning non-saturated fat sources, can often be overlooked in a plant-based diet journey. Check out our other blog on vegan protein sources for more great information!
Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, but depending on where you live, it may be a bit pricey. Buying coconut oil in bulk is a great way to add some extra fat into meals, and can also be used for hair and skin treatments. We love the versatility of coconut oil!
Adding fatty nuts like cashews, almonds, and walnuts to a salad alongside an added drizzle of avocado oil can also be an easy way to add more fat to your meal on a budget.
Some great plant-based fat sources include:
- Coconut oil
- Avocado (or avocado oil)
- Olive oil
- Nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts)
Making The Most of What You Have
If you thought that vegetable scraps weren’t good for anything besides composting, then think again! Never let anything go to waste by creating vegetable stock from veggies scraps throughout the week. Your broth can be great for use in soups, rice dishes, and anything else you’d like to flavor a little bit. Keep a bag of vegetable trimmings from carrots, onion, fennel, celery, and other veggies in your freezer until you’re ready to make your broth.
Adding aromatics like garlic and herbs can help flavor the broth and give you some extra depth as well. Freeze your broth for later, or use it during the week as a replacement for water in sauces or rice dishes.
When it comes to being plant-based, it’s all about how you approach the lifestyle that determines whether or not you’ll be spending a lot of money. So shop wisely, and you too can move towards a healthier you!