Shopping Vegan on a Budget

by Kylie Smith

A major turn off when it comes to switching to a plant based diet is the claim that it’s simply too expensive to maintain. While there are many vegan options that can be on the pricey side, it doesn’t have to be that way! In order to bust the myth that you can’t be vegan on a budget, it’s important to figure out your food groups, prep and plan, and limit yourself from splurging. These three simple steps will help you navigate the grocery store in both an affordable and enjoyable fashion. 

Step 1: Figure Out Your Food Groups

It’s helpful to know before walking into the store what you want to purchase. By sectioning your list into protein, fats, grains, fruits, and vegetables, the aisles become less intimidating and more importantly, your wallet will thank you. We suggest that when shopping you try to stick to three or four fruits and vegetables, two grains, two fats, and at least two proteins. Be sure to check out the sample vegan grocery list from Women’s Health below for a more clear idea on how to section your shopping list for ample success while shopping. That said, step one is to divide and conquer. 

Step 2: Prep and Plan 

The next step that will make your supermarket trip easy peasy lemon squeezy is to plan and prep. Pinterest is a great resource to use when trying to decide what dishes to make for the week. By typing phrases like, “vegan dinner,” “easy vegan meal,” or simply the word “vegan,”  an abundance of delicious options are at your fingertips. Picking one to three staple dinner recipes to make will help direct your food shopping as well as avoid buying the more expensive ready made meals. Step two, organize!

Step 3: Limit Yourself 

It can be hard to resist all of the vegan goodies stocked on the shelves, and you shouldn’t have to! A way to enjoy these treats without bruising your bank account is to follow the two steps above, as well as treating yourself. We suggest sticking to two to three vegan goodies to splurge on each week. Some of our all time favorite vegan goodies include Ben and Jerry’s non-dairy ice cream (any and all flavors), Gardein crispy tenders, and Annie’s vegan mac. Each of these items are easily accessible and can be found at a variety of grocery stores. Step three, splurge safely!

Simply put, vegan shopping doesn’t have to be pricey and painful, in fact, it can be cheap. With tofu at just two dollars a block, shopping vegan on a budget is possible. We hope this guide has inspired you to shop plant based – these small steps can go a long way to save money while still eating delicious food!

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