Making a Plant Based Diet Affordable
Many people comment on my Instagram posts with things like "How you afford to eat so healthy?" "Isn't being vegan expensive?" "I wish I could afford food like this" etc etc.
Whilst I do like to treat myself with raw chocolate and coconut yoghurt, these aren't at all necessary. Living on a plant based diet doesn't mean eating every superfood in the health food store, it just means buying basics like rice, oats, potatoes, fruits and vegetables and using them as your meal base.
Buy in bulk and not for convenience
This is probably the most important tip. Don't buy little pre portioned packets of rice or oats or carrot sticks already cut up for you. Save money and buy big kg bags of rice that'll feed for you months and buy your veggies whole, not prepared for you. You'll save a lot of money by cooking your food from scratch.
Shop in season
If it is winter where you live, don't buy tropical fruit imported from the other side of the world. Shop local and shop seasonal. In winter eat lots of broccoli and cauliflower, in summer eat lots of salad. Stick away from imported foods as much as possible like baby sweetcorn from Asia or green beans from Africa and eat what grows in your country. Learn to love the staple foods of where you live!
Frozen food isn't so bad! Stock up on frozen raspberries and blueberries for breakfast, frozen mixed stirfry veggies and frozen mixed veggies for soups. They're cheap, last for ages and are a good standby if you have nothing fresh.
Always take a lunchbox and snacks with you. And a bottle of water. Don't rely on expensive cafes or tuck shops, bring your food to classes with you. Bring your own snacks to the movies, use a reusable water bottle. All that eating out adds up!
Buy supermarket own brand
Rather than buying the branded oats, tinned tomatoes, beans, lentils, rice etc, go for supermarket own brand. It's usually a lot cheaper and you can get it in bigger packets too. Really all that's different is the packaging!
Plan meals ahead of time
Rather than going food shopping and just grabbing things and throwing them into your trolley, make a plan of the lunches and dinners for the week before you go, so you only buy what you need and don't have things lurking in the cupboard for ages. If you know you're making curry, get a can of coconut milk, otherwise you don't have to!