There is a huge taboo at the moment that even though going vegan might be a healthy option, it is also a more expensive option. At Nutracity’s online vegan nutrition store you can find a great range of vegan products as part of our vegan products UK range.
As mentioned in veganfoodandliving.com, new research suggests that vegans spend on average 40% less than those who eat meat. 11,000 Brits carried out weekly meal diaries from across a year and it was found that plant-based meals eaten at home cost less and took less time to prepare than their meat-based counterparts. In terms of cost, the average meal that contained fish or meat costs £1.77 per person, compared to a plant-based dish that only averaged £1.06 per person.
A vegan dinner was also reported as 32% quicker to prepare, so as some might say, “time is money” especially for those with busy schedules. Similar research monitored the purchases from 30,000 British households for a year. It was found that vegan households spent 8% less on groceries than non-vegan households of a similar size.
The shopping basket of the average vegan was found to cost £16.47 whilst a non-vegan basket was found to cost £17.91 It was also found that vegans did not spend a lot on plant-based mock meats rather these were bought more by people often referred to as “flexitarians”. Flexitarianism is defined as those individuals who want to reduce their carbon footprint on the environment and also want to improve their health with a mostly vegan diet that allows for the occasional meat dish. This mostly affects their meat consumption therefore they will often look for alternative protein sources such as plant-based “mock meats”.1
Thinkymoney carried out an analysis as to how much brits spent on different items each year. Meat products alone totalled over £600. How you cook and store your food can also influence your budget. Beans, pulses and seasonal vegetables are relatively cheap compared to other items on a typical shopping list. You have the flexibility to store them in a freezer for future use or make a stew that you know will last a few days. Protein from nuts, lentils, tofu and tempeh are a lot cheaper than meat. £2 worth of tofu could be enough for up to four meals, £2 worth of meat however would probably not even cover one meal.2
As with all types of food, there are different price ranges for different categories. When an omnivore decides to buy meat, there will be different brands of varying degrees of quality as well as price, the same can be said for a vegan diet also. Many have reported savings in their shopping due to just not buying unnecessary snacks, alcohol and chocolate all the time. Sometimes a shift in diet is also a shift in mentality whereby you use a particular diet, like a vegan diet, as a base to just eat healthier and be more conscious as to the types of food that you ingest.
There are many different ways to save on a vegan diet, the first idea that we would recommend is to be imaginative. A lot of vegan meals use ingredients that you may already have in your cupboards and there are always less expensive alternatives that you can buy. These types of foods include; tinned beans and dried pulses of various kinds, vegetables (particularly seasonal ones), potatoes, egg-free pasta and noodles, rice, bread, dried herbs and spices, seasonal fruit and soya mince. When combined these ingredients can be used to make exciting dishes for example, curries, stir fries, wraps or pasta dishes. This way, you also get to enjoy plenty of variety.
Secondly, it may also be a good idea to buy frozen food as frozen veggie burgers, sausages and other vegan “mock meats” are relatively inexpensive. There are also dried veggie packet mixes, especially for vegan burgers and sausages. These mixes are also inexpensive and can be used to make your own vegan “meatballs” or puff pastry.
Another great idea is to visit your local supermarket near their closing time. Often you will find reduced fruit and vegetables that you can use to make your own dishes. As well as fruit and vegetables you can also find pastry and bread that are also heavily reduced. These can then be frozen and used and defrosted later when needed.
Also buying vegetables that are already frozen will help them to last longer therefore achieving less waste. Freezing berries and bananas and adding to smoothies at a later date is also a nice way to make a healthier snack.
Another great idea is to make extra for your evening meal and use the rest as lunch for the next day. You will notice that you will spend a lot less and also enjoy a more luxurious meal for your lunch keeping you fuelled for the rest of the day. If you find that you spend a lot of money unnecessarily on your shopping trips, then there are two great pieces of advice from the vegansociety.com.
The first is make a list and stick to it. Only write on your list the items that you need and do not buy any items outside that list. The second, is to not go food shopping when you’re hungry. It is much easier to resist tempting foods, whether vegan or not, on a full stomach than it is on an empty stomach.3
So, to sum up, there are plenty of ways to go vegan on a budget, it is all about coming up with different strategies in order to make it cheaper to eat vegan in the long run. Freezing food and not over-buying seem like key ways to do achieve this goal as well as spending money on brands that you can afford within your budget.
At Nutracity’s online vegan nutrition store we have a good variety of products to choose from to suit your needs, please check out our vegan products UK line and use our chat feature if you have any questions.