When you decide to go vegan which is essentially a plant-based diet, there is some room to do a bit more planning with regard to your meals and the budget you are comfortable with dolling out on a weekly or daily basis. Whether it is hitting your weekly farmer’s market or local whole foods store, there are some tips and tricks to getting more worth out of your money and more delicious home-cooked meals rather than processed food from outside.
There are many benefits of choosing fresh produce over buying packaged organic fruits and vegetables. Not only can you pick and choose as you like (according to meal preferences and serving size) you are also getting more nutrients from the food you eat. Furthermore, you will save money as buying three apples means you will definitely consume them in the course of a week rather than a pack of eight which might be too much for one person and there is always the chance of them going bad.
Bulk Is Best
Some things are better bought in bulk like spices and grains as these food items are often on sale and can be stored safely for long periods of time since they aren’t perishable by nature. You don’t need to go crazy but even as little as $15 can go a long way in passing your week as far as snacks and side meals go.
Some solid choices are spending a few dollars each week on quinoa and oatmeal or beans and you can buy quick-make canned varieties which are often on sale for a couple of dollars at most supermarkets. Almonds, chia seeds and other types of nuts can also account for a couple of well-spent dollars when you are looking through the bulk bins but it is more a matter of personal preference.
This is by far the cheapest way to get some veggies and fruits into your meals and also the most convenient way as far as storage and preparation is concerned. Frozen fruit averages at $3 a bag and lasts for ages. Buy two bags or more a week of frozen strawberries, raspberries and mangoes and veggies like asparagus and broccoli and this will save you a ton of time when you want to throw together a quick smoothie-to-go in the morning or a quick salad for lunch.
Getting That Protein
If you are a new vegan then you will be concerned about where all the protein is going to come from and the simplest answer is beans and lentils. They can be bought ready-made in cans but if you want to save even more money, buy a kg of lentils or black beans for $8 or less and they will last a couple of weeks easy depending on the amounts you cook each time and the recipe you opt for. A black bean burrito makes a great lunch and a lentil soup makes a great dinner for those watching the calories on a plant-based diet.