People say being vegan is expensive, which is far from the truth. A plant-based diet (when planned correctly) is far cheaper than the Standard American Diet. But if you really drill down into what you’re buying and how you’re buying it, there are ways to make it even less expensive!
Here are 7 items to get you started…
While it’s really tempting to buy the pre-made hummus from the store, it can be up to 4 times as expensive as making it for yourself. It’s also full of preservatives and processed oil. Instead, buy a big jar of tahini, some lemon juice and keep a stockpile of bulk dried chickpeas. If you buy in big enough bulk, you'll be able to make a 16 oz serving of hummus for less than a dollar!
And it tastes better too!
Kimchi is delicious and straight up addicting. If you’ve never had it, it’s basically spicy and fermented Napa cabbage. I was spending $5 for a really small jar at the store because I thought making my own was intimidating.
But the truth is, it’s super easy. I recently followed this recipe and it came out amazing. I didn’t even have any chili flakes, so I just used store-bought Sriracha instead. No one knew the difference!
3. Almonds and Other Nuts
The average price of nuts in the supermarket aisle is usually much higher than what you can get them for in bulk. In fact, I did some research right now and I found that you can get a 10-pound bag of almonds on Amazon for $5.50 per pound -- half the price of my local grocery store. And I’m sure if you shop around or buy in a larger quantity, you can get them even cheaper.
4. Nut Butters
OK, so now you’re buying almonds in bulk for less than $6 a pound, have you thought about that jar of almond butter that you’re spending $11 on? Seriously, I’ve seen jars of almond butter that were $11. I’ve seen walnut butter that was even more!
Why waste money on that when you can make your own?
With the right equipment (usually a blender or food processor) you can take a pound of those almonds and blend them into nut butter!
5. Frozen Fruit
I recently discovered a hack for saving money on frozen fruit that’s the opposite of what you’d expect. Usually saving money means buying things in larger quantities.
But I’ve found extremely cheap frozen fruit at the dollar store.
Places like Dollar General or Family Dollar all have a freezer section with off-brand bags of frozen fruit at $1 each! You can usually find the typical berry blends, but I’ve even found some more exotic mixtures like banana, papaya, and mango. Since it's usually going into a smoothie, you won't know the difference!
6. Nutritional Yeast aka Nooch
This is a huge one. If you decide to save money on one thing throughout this entire list – make sure it’s nutritional yeast.
The price difference between buying bulk online compared to buying in the store is astronomical. I bought a 10-pound bucket from Jet.com for around $8 per pound almost a year ago and still haven’t gone through it all.
Plus, it’s so hard to find sometimes. If you’re not lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, you may not be able to find yourself any Nooch at all!
7. Plant Milks
I must admit, it’s super convenient to pick up a carton of almond milk and call it a day. But if you have a decent blender and a nut milk bag, it seriously only takes a few minutes to make your own (aside from the soaking part).
When you buy plant milk at the store, you're mainly paying for water anyway.
The cost comes mainly from transportation rather than the ingredients. By making nut milk at home, you can pay less than a dollar for the same amount of stuff!
If you’re on a budget, I hope these tips help you save a few bucks! Being vegan does not have to be expensive. Plus, you can still enjoy so many delicious foods on a dime with a little bit of effort.
Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/top-view-photo-of-food-dessert-1099680/