It doesn’t have to be. Chickpeas are cheaper than chicken, and a beet burger costs less to make than a beef burger!
Most pantry essentials like pasta, bread, rice, beans, pulses and seasonal or frozen vegetables are cheap to buy, and if you base your meals around these, it is easy to stick to a tight budget.
You may notice if you eat out that the meat-free dish is often the cheapest on the menu and there is a reason for that. Meat is expensive! In fact, it is probably the most expensive thing in the store outside of the alcohol aisle, so by leaving it off your plate and out of your cart, you’ll be saving money right there.
And that means there is a little more to go around, so you should be able to buy plant milks and yogurts which are a little more pricey than the dairy versions. Overall, you should see your weekly spend remain about the same, or even fall.
Being vegan can help financially in other ways, for example, by reducing waste. Animal products must be used quickly or they go bad, but lentils and tofu can last a lot longer. By not wasting food, you’re saving money.
If you can cook from scratch rather than buying processed or pre-packaged foods, bulk-buy staples such as rice and pasta, and cook up batches of food to freeze for future use, you’ll find the budget stretches just a bit further, too.
There are some excellent websites dedicated to budget vegan recipes, so explore them and you’ll be amazed at the delicious, healthy meals you can make even on a tight budget.
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