Being vegan is rewarding, healthy, and tasty, but it can also be expensive. While many vegan staples like rice, beans, and seasonal produce are cheaper than non-vegan items like meat and cheese, buying substitutes for these products, particularly if they contain nuts or soy, can be pricey. In addition to this, eating out becomes more expensive because restaurants often see vegan options as a specialty that they can charge more for. Below are some tips for saving money on a vegan diet.
Recycle Your Food:
Of course, you should eat leftovers to maximize cost, but there are other ways you can recycle your food! Use your vegetable scraps to make your own veggie broth! Organic vegetable broth is expensive, so making your own can help offset the cost of buying organic produce. You can also recycle your cooking oil by using it multiple times, but be sure to check recommendations for the specific oils you use. Use the stems of herbs to make flavorful teas. Whenever you have an unused part of a product, think about how you can put it to use instead of throwing it away. This can save you money on food, cleaning products, and garden fertilizer!
We all know that eating out is more expensive than staying home, but you should also try to avoid as many packaged foods as possible. Alternative “milk” could be cheaper, especially if made with nuts, but if you find nuts in bulk on sale, you could save money by making your own! Faux meat products are way more expensive, especially when talking about bean burgers. Making your own bean burgers is extremely affordable, especially if you buy dried beans instead of canned ones.
Fresh produce can be expensive, especially out of season. Frozen produce is not only cheaper, but it maintains a lot of the nutrients, often more than fresh produce that is exposed to light and air. Compare prices of frozen and fresh produce in your area and pick and choose what you buy fresh and what you buy frozen.
Rotate Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds can be used to add protein, texture and flavor to a variety of dishes. They are also the base of many dairy substitutes. Unfortunately, nuts and seeds can get really pricey. Since buying in bulk saves money, a great strategy is to buy the largest amount you can of one or two nuts/seeds at a time. Then build all your meals around them until you run out and move on to a different kind. This will save you money in the long run by buying bulk and in the short term for not having to buy 16 types of nuts in a week. It also can work well with sales, allowing you to build your menu plans based on what was on sale on your bulk shopping trip.
How do you save money on a vegan diet? Share in the comments!
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