Many people are under the assumption that a vegan diet is expensive. Even though some are aware that raw meat costs more than fresh vegetables, they still believe this. A part of this misconception has to do with living in food deserts, where it’s difficult to obtain nutritious food altogether. When the “good” foods aren’t easily accessible, it’s hard to eat right whether you’re on a budget or not. However, eating vegan or healthier in general could be easier to do on a budget than you think. Here’s four ways:
1. Shop at regular grocery stores and farmer’s markets.
A main reason for the assumption that eating vegan is expensive comes from believing that you have to shop at big name health food stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. You don’t. You can shop anywhere there’s produce.
“Organic and specialty stores are great, but it’s certainly not necessary to empty your wallet in order to eat healthfully,” said Kathy Fretson, a health and wellness activist in a recent Huffington Post article.
Purchasing produce at smaller chains, co-ops and farmer’s markets are great options. With farmer’s markets, you’ll get fresh fruits and vegetables – usually grown locally – for much less.
2. Use foods that you already have.
Many of us already eat a ton of vegan foods, like collard greens, cabbage, and beans and rice. We just put meat and dairy products in them. This goes to show that you don’t have to switch up your entire grocery list to adopt a vegan diet. Just leave the meat and dairy in the frozen section. You’d be surprised to learn that being vegan can be about the same or less than what you’re spending on groceries now.
According to Fretson, “Many staples of a vegan diet cost very little and can be found in any grocery store — not just in specialty markets. Whole grains like quinoa or barley or brown rice, legumes like chickpeas or soybeans, and other beans like black-eyed peas and black beans are very inexpensive — certainly cheaper than processed and packaged foods.”
Vegan foods you may already have:
- Vegetables (greens, cabbage, okra)
- Herbs and spices
- Nuts and Seeds