Advice, Budgeting, Diet, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian

How To Be Vegan or Vegetarian On A Budget

I am a Vegetarian.

Don’t worry, I am not going to go on a tangent over what is or is not on your plate. Herbivorous and Omnivorous humans have existed for the entire 10,000+ years of recorded history. Neither side has convinced the other to change their diet. Instead, I’d rather focus on what I can change which the notion that you can’t do a plant-based diet for cheap.

Seriously.

I routinely hear that my diet is too expensive for “regular” people. This makes me laugh because my husband and I are regular people. We have a monthly household budget just like everyone else. The perception that a plant-based diet will break the bank comes from two common myths –

MYTH ONE: A PLANT-BASED DIET IS EXPENSIVE

A plant-based diet can be expensive if you do your shopping exclusively at frou-frou health food stores. Don’t get me wrong these stories are great. I shop at them from time to time myself, but that is only for specialty items I can’t find in other stores. You can get plenty of healthy food for a plant-based diet from –

Trust me, I have been an on-again-off-again Vegetarian* for more than twenty years, and guess what? I buy my groceries from either Walmart or Costco. They are the only grocery outlets here in Anchorage where you can buy fresh produce without spending a fortune. If you insist on eating organic Costco is your best, most cost-effective option for bulk organic produce. True, it does cost $50/year for a membership, (Sam’s Club is $45/year), but you save over time.

MYTH TWO: YOU MUST MAKE A BUNCH OF SPECIAL RECIPES WITH SPECIAL INGREDIENTS

You can make plenty of hearty and nutritious meals for cheap using regular ingredients. Meals can be made meat and dairy-free without buying special items. YouTube is a great source of information if you need ideas or want to learn how to do meal planning. I recommend the following channels as they feature easy and inexpensive Vegan or Vegetarian recipes –

Cheap Lazy Vegan

Liv B.

Sarah’s Vegan Kitchen

Anarchist Kitchen

You can also explore options such as food co-ops or join local bartering groups on Facebook. The latter allows for networking and the opportunity to obtain foodstuffs in trade. If you have any tips or ideas for doing a plant-based diet on a budget, let me know in the comments below. In the meantime, have a great weekend!.

-RJK

*I am permanently transitioning to a plant-based diet in October.

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