Bio: Yaz is the blogger behind The Wallet Moth, a money and lifestyle blog dedicated to helping people shape their ideal lifestyle. Check it out for an insight into her transition from miserable 9-5 to travelling the world with her own business, as well as some great frugal living and minimalism tips!
I’ve been eating a plant-based diet for about 6 months now, after slowly transitioning from a hard-core meat eater, then to vegetarian, and finally to the diet I have now.
Although the vegan diet is definitely getting more popular (over 150,000 people signed up to take part in Veganuary in 2018 compared with just 3,300 people in 2014!), there is definitely a lot of confusion and lack of awareness about the whole thing.
For me, eating a vegan diet has:
- Cleared up my complexion
- Made me feel fantastic
- Introduced me to tonnes of delicious new recipes
- Saved me money!
It’s definitely this last point that has surprised people the most. There is a common misconception that to eat vegan, you need to spend a lot of money when in fact, I’ve found the opposite!
For those of you that might be considering cutting down your meat in-take each week, or going vegan altogether, here are my best tips on saving more money when you eat a plant-based diet.
1. Avoid Fake Meats
The ‘expensive’ stigma that surrounds a plant-based diet is definitely due to the hefty price tag that comes with fake meats and cheese that are now all over the shelves in supermarkets.
While these can make a nice treat when you’re craving a burger or some ‘chicken’ nuggets, they definitely don’t need to be a staple of your diet.
2. Buy Wholefoods
Not everyone who eats vegan eats healthy. You could easily live of a diet of tortilla chips and vegan quorn nuggets and be a vegan – but you definitely wouldn’t be healthy, or rich!
To save money, my diet consists of maybe 90% wholefoods, and the rest is eating out or nights when the thought of cooking is too much!
Wholefoods include things like:
- Legumes (peanuts, beans, peas etc)
- Grains (rice, quinoa, oats)
3. Cook from Scratch
This is one of my best food tips for both meat eaters and vegans – cooking from scratch is so much cheaper than buying jars and ready meals!
Sure it might take an extra 30 minutes to chop and cook, but the taste and the cost savings you make are so worth it.
A jar of tomato pasta sauce could cost you anywhere between £1 – £4, whereas cooking up a batch of tomatoes, garlic and onion would be just pennies.
4. Buy in Bulk
Finding adequate protein is a concern a lot of people considering making a transition to plant foods have, but the answer is quite simple: just make sure you replace the meat with other protein-rich foods.
For this reason, I buy high-protein foods like chickpeas, beans, lentils and brown rice in bulk to save money and ensure I have a constant stock of my staples. Living on canned versions of these foods can get pricey (not to mention annoying!), so I buy the dried versions when I can. You just have to remember to soak them overnight before you plan on cooking with them.
Some cities in the UK even have ‘bulk bins’ that allow you to bring refillable containers. This is often a much cheaper way of shopping and reduces waste when you shop – The Zero Waster’s list iis really useful for checking if there are any in your area.
5. Being Vegan Away from Food
Being vegan can expand into a much of your lifestyle as you want, and I find that the practice of ‘doing no harm’ is perfectly matched with a frugal living mindset.
For example, in order to reduce waste I now try to thrift shop for clothes instead of buying new. This is not only a fun and ethical way to shop, but it is often an absolute bargain compared with buying new clothes!
I hope this post has helped make the vegan diet seem a little more approachable and budget friendly to some of you! Please check out my blog The Wallet Moth where I share my favourite vegan meal ideas, frugal living tips and more!