You may have read about the many health and environmental benefits of going vegan. Vegans don’t eat any animal products — that means no dairy, no eggs, no honey. Anything that originated from an animal becomes off-limits. When you go vegan, you may lower your cholesterol, lose weight, and reduce your risk of getting certain cancers.
Many people mistakenly think that becoming vegan is expensive because it may require buying specialty products, but that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, you can make this dietary and lifestyle change without blowing your budget.
Use these ideas to cut animal products out of your diet while being mindful of your budget.
Failing to plan ahead usually results in added expenses. When you don’t have anything planned for dinner, you’re more likely to hit the drive-thru for a quick dinner after work. And since many restaurants charge more for vegan substitutes, such as veggie burgers, you end up paying a lot more than you should for a meal.
By planning out your menu, you can save time and money. Start with these tips.
Stores mark up specialty products because people will pay more for them. A box of cookies labeled “vegan” may sell for more than another package that is also vegan but doesn’t carry the product designation.
Become an expert at reading ingredients and picking out vegan products yourself rather than looking for vegan branding. Use these tips to help:
Growing your own vegetables can help you save money. Typically, seed packets cost only a few dollars. Use these tips to get started on your own veggie garden:
Going vegan requires finding new sources of protein. Your diet may expand to include all types of beans, seeds, nuts, and grains. You can buy these for less when you shop in bulk (ethnic food stores can also be great options when looking for bargains.) Keep these tips in mind when shopping:
Purchasing fresh, in-season produce at a local farmer’s market may save you money versus getting your fruits and veggies at the grocery store, where those items may be shipped hundreds of miles before they reach you. You’ll also get fresher food that’s locally grown.
Below are a few tips and tricks for shopping local:
Freezers are a vegan’s best friend. Here’s how you can use them to save money:
With these tips, you can save money on food while improving your diet and easing into your new vegan lifestyle. For more tips on saving money, visit our WalletWorks page.