If you are one of those people that think eating plant based is expensive, then I must tell you that you are wrong. It could not be cheaper to eat plants and stay healthy. Not only do you save money because you are not buying animal products and a ton of other unhealthy shit, but you also save money due to being healthy and not needing to spend money on doctors and drugs.
Let’s get one thing out of the way – if you want to eat highly processed vegan foods, such as cheese, meats, cookies, and similar, then yes, it will be expensive and you won’t save much. But if you eat clean, whole food diet that doesn’t come with added coloring and sugar, you will be good.
Here are three ways to eat plant based on a budget.
- Eat healthy. Buying potatoes, rice, tomatoes and apples is not going to cost you much + it won’t negatively affect your health. Buying fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and spices is affordable and healthy. Yes, you will need to cook and prepare meals by yourself, which I know some humans hate to do, but for the sake of your wallet and your health, taking 30 minutes to prepare a soup or risotto is necessary.
- Write down your meal schedule for the week ahead so you will know what to eat and what to buy ahead of time. If you go to the store without a plan – and god forbid you are hungry as well – you will spend useless amounts of money on products that are expensive and bad for your health. What ingredients will you need for the main three meals on Monday? What about Tuesday? Think about the whole week and plan your daily meals. You won’t only save money but time as well.
- Eat at home. I already mentioned cooking and preparing your own meals, but if you are used of eating out and having someone else prepare your meals for you, then this might be just what you need. Eating in restaurants and bars may not seem expensive when you are sitting there, waiting for your burger or veggie plate to arrive, but when you look back at the end of the month, you see how much money you spent on meals that you could easily prepare at home + you could get all the ingredients for a much lower price. I know that starting to cook is challenging, especially if you don’t like it, but think about how much money you will save and how different your lifestyle will be with a bit more money in your pocket that would otherwise be spent on take-out.
Social media promotes the idea that eating a plant based diet is expensive and something only privileged kids can afford to do. They tell us that it is impossible to eat plant based on a budget and that is so not true. After all, we all see those beautiful fruit bowls and vegan pizzas on Instagram accounts of pretty girls in yoga pants. We subconsciously connect the dots and suddenly we get the fake idea that if we want to eat a healthy plant based diet, we must include coconuts and pineapple in our morning cereal, or that sweet potatoes are a must with every meal. Hey, we can’t all afford coconuts every day, and sweet potatoes are rare to find (especially for us, small town people).
Don’t get obsessed with the fake ideal that social media promotes about what plant eaters must eat. It’s not true at all. A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about what I eat, and most of the foods that I mentioned were rice, pasta and potatoes. Carbs. Now, I’m not poor because my plate doesn’t look like a rainbow every single day, or because I only eat pizza twice a year. I eat the way I eat because it is healthy and I would much rather spend my money on books and education than on tropical fruit that does not contain much different nutrients than an apple or a pear.
And there is nothing wrong with eating on a budget. Most of us have a budget when it comes to food. It is how the majority of people in Western world eat. We know how much we can afford to spend and where the limit is. If you are lucky enough to be able to eat in restaurants or have a private chef, then good for you, I am happy that you are able to eat whatever you want, but most of us don’t have that luxury.
But I don’t want you to live with the belief that eating plants is expensive. It absolutely isn’t. Doctors and the media love to promote the idea of a plant based diet being expensive and/or not good enough for our health. Don’t listen to them.
Choose your health and learn how to play the game. Learn what foods are good for you, where to get your B12, and learn about how to eat on a budget. That’s the whole science.
Now, if you don’t know what books are good sources of knowledge about plant based nutrition, then I have a post written for you here, and if you want to know which movies I love that talk about what to eat on a plant based diet, you can check out this post.
Make sure to leave a comment below, telling me any other tips that you have for everyone who wants to eat plant based more often but is afraid of going over the limit on their budget, so we can share what we know.