Vegan eating can be cheaper? You betcha!

April 18, 2023

Today’s topic is affordability: one top of mind issue for many who are exploring a more plant-based diet.

There are lots of types of inexpensive legumes. Image by yilmazfatih from Pixabay

Hand-in-hand with the myth that vegans don’t get enough protein is one that vegan food isn’t affordable.   Allow us to explode this myth as well. We know that inflation has been particularly hard on food costs. Plant-based foods are not immune to these price increases. However, they have fared better than many non-vegan options (for example the Avian Flu has not only caused great suffering for birds, but it has raised prices for eggs and chickens). And there are ways to minimize the impact of inflation.

Eating whole plant-based food is not only more healthy but it can also help keep your costs down. All packaged vegan foods are pretty expensive, including yummy vegan versions. These can be kept as a treat.  Eating foods in their most intact form is often the cheapest option. That includes fruits, vegetables and dried beans.

Check out this article in our recent Minnesota Veg Living magazine by Jill Erickson, of Rooted Green Wellness. She shares a lot of tips to keep your plant-based diet more affordable. Spoiler: two big suggestions are buying dried legumes and frozen vegetables and fruits. And frozen is often even healthier because they are preserved at their peak. She also gives great tips on where to find cheaper groceries and how to minimize costs when you eat out.

We hope these tips will help you control your food expenses. And if you attend some of the many VegWeek activities you will have the opportunity to ask others how they are tackling the issue of affordable food. Since we are all confronted with inflation, you are sure to get a lot of great tips. Hope to see you at one of our events soon.

Check Out these Community Quotes: 

  • “Come up with several affordable recipes you like that you can eat often.” Jill Schonteich
  • “Shop in bulk on Amazon, chilis and soups (liquid bulk makes them filling), make a big pot at the beginning of your workweek so there’s something ready to eat at home. Buy calorie-dense granola bars (like Clif bars) in bulk, concentrate on nonperishable foods, Eat calorie-dense foods like oil and desserts. Some vegan things like tofu and agar agar are affordable from Asian markets.” Abbey Feola
  • “Get an Instant Pot and you can make beans, rice, potatoes… lots of affordable foods.” Stephanie Paquin 
  • “Learn to make meals you like with beans and grains, and you’ll have the fundamentals of an affordable, healthy diet right there. Spicing is the key.” Laura Matanah
  • “Shop farmer’s markets in-season for healthy and affordable produce (shop close to closing time to potentially get some freebies as well). Beans/legumes are healthy and affordable whether you buy canned or in bulk. Also buy nuts in bulk or get them at Trader Joe’s. Shop around for best prices and sales on produce and other items. Alternative “meats” can be more pricey, but buying store brands (such as Trader Joe’s, Target’s in-house brand, ‘365’ (Whole Foods) can keep prices more affordable.” Cari Lombardi

Thanks to our community members who shared their tips and suggestions.

Much of this information was also shared in email form during April 2023 Veg Week.

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