Vegan diets have suffered from the negative notion that only rich, affluent people can afford to have them. However, new research has revealed that you can switch to a plant-based diet without overspending, allowing you to avoid animal products on a budget. The research found that a meatless diet saved approximately $29 a week, which is around $1,508 a year. That figure doesn’t even include the healthcare savings you’ll have from swearing off meat altogether.
Nonetheless, many people have difficulty gaining access to a steady stream of vegan food and plant-based restaurants without diving deep into their pockets. However, with a bit of resourcefulness, creativity, and a few cookbooks, you can enjoy veganism even on a tight budget. Here are some tips to try:
1. Grow Your Own Produce
If you are blessed with some gardening space, put it to good use by growing your own herbs, vegetables, or even fruits like berries. It’s an excellent way to save money while reconnecting with Mother Nature and exploring something fulfilling. Few things feel as great as watching your hard work thrive and bloom, after all!
It’s best to start by planting seeds, which is the most budget-friendly option. If you have other friends who are certified green thumbs, you can even trade produce. This would give you access to various ingredients without even taking a trip to the supermarket. If you don’t have that much space, you can try container gardening on your balcony or even a fire escape.
2. Preserve Your Harvest
Part of growing your produce is to ensure that none of it goes to waste. If you end up with excess food, consider preserving it by using canning, pickling, or other preservation methods. You can pickle vegetables and make preserves out of fruits. That way, you can control the flavors and save yourself a ton of money. You’ll also get to enjoy the fruits of summer, even during freezing Montréal winter!
3. Buy Locally
Another option is to purchase produce from your local farmers. It’s great for the economy and environment since fewer greenhouse gas emissions are involved. This way, stores don’t have to shell out more money for shipping from distant places.
Farmers markets may be a bit more expensive than a grocery store, but the payoff will be worth it. Additionally, going later in the day may give you some savings since sellers are eager to sell everything.
4. Buy In Season
Buying produce in season is more affordable and accessible than hunting for it out of season. It’s also more environmentally friendly. Make a checklist of your favorite fruits and veggies and lay them out on a calendar, so you can plan your purchases.
5. Decide on a Weekly Menu
Having a weekly menu adds more structure to your shopping list and grocery runs while taking the guesswork out of cooking. It can even be calming and meditative! You’ll want to spend at least 30 minutes per week browsing through cookbooks or food blogs to find vegan recipes.
Meal planning and going only by your grocery list means you’ll have fewer impulse purchases and more savings. It also helps you control what you’re eating over the week while ensuring you maintain a balanced diet. By having a weekly menu, you won’t be agonizing about what to cook for dinner!
Switching to a vegan diet is more doable than you think. Not only is it better for your health, but it’s better for your wallet, too! By trying these tips, you can enjoy living a plant-based lifestyle without breaking the bank.
Veganation is a vegan supermarket in Montréal offering delicious vegan-friendly fast food. We also offer a vegan subscription box to make tasty vegan meals more accessible and affordable. Check out our menu today!