Thrifty Vegan – Small Ways to save Big with plant based Foods

April 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm 3 comments

Miniature Shopper
Image by Jackson Latka via Flickr

We are often asked about ways to save money on a vegan diet. Here are a few suggestions to help your well-earned funds go that extra mile. Remember the hidden savings of going vegan is that by eating a well-balanced diet of plant-based foods we are protecting ourselves from a host of diet related illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, certain forms of diabetes and other diseases that exact a HUGE cost, both for the individual and society as a whole.

1. Learn how to cook. This is a big step to take to reign in your expenses. Going to restaurants is a lovely treat. It’s nice to have the luxury of someone else preparing the food. (Not to mention doing the dishes!) The cost definitely adds up if it’s an every day occurrence. Oftentimes a nice meal at a restaurant can cost as much as a few days or more of food prepared at home. There are so many cookbooks available to get you started. Check in your paper to see if anyone is offering classes locally. It’s a worthwhile investment that pays for itself manifold when you begin creating your own masterpieces in the kitchen.

2. Buy bulk. Buying items in bulk adds up to a huge savings. Spend the extra time soaking and cooking beans instead of using cans. This is good for the planet as well as your wallet. Join a buyers club or coop that allows you to combine orders with other folks to receive closer to wholesale prices. Ask your local natural food store about rates for bulk purchases.

3. Grow your own. Home gardening is a rewarding hobby and a wonderful way to save money as well. There is an abundance of on online resources or check out some books at the library that can get you started. See if you can enlist some friends to join you on your gardening adventure. You grow the lettuce, they grow carrots and then share the bounty. You can start small by growing herbs in pots, or by growing your own clover sprouts.

4. Farmers Market. If gardening is not for you, check out your local farmers market, where produce is generally available at a much lower rate than found at the supermarket. Many times you can find bargains at the end of the market, when farmers are eager to sell their remaining produce. It’s also very fulfilling to meet the people that grow your food. Locally grown food is also typically higher in nutrient value than food shipped across the country, and has the added benefit of supporting your local economy.

5. Keep it simple. Simplifying your diet is another way you can reduce your food budget. If you are craving truffles and champagne, and many processed and packaged foods, prepare to pay for your refined palate. There are countless ways to include a wide range of economical vegan foods without compromising on flavor. Experiment with the different grains and legumes that are readily available. Discover the natural goodness of fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s a never-ending culinary journey. Have fun!

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Entry filed under: Question Mark - Ask the Natural Chef, Vegan Fusion, Vegan Lifestyles. Tags: , , , , .

Amsterdam Farmers Market, Part 1 – April 2009 Amsterdam Farmers Market, Part 2 – April 2009

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Judy Lust  |  December 3, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Thank you for these great tips! So often it’s very expensive to buy vegan foods. I’ve seen many online and they’re out of my range. Keep up the good work!

  • 2. Susan  |  December 10, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    I’d also suggest:

    6. Where possible, shop for fresh vegetables at Asian markets too, especially greens. Their prices are often MUCH lower than conventional grocery stores.

  • 3. thegoddess1968  |  July 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    This was so helpful. thank you!


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