If you’re used to buying vegan alternatives you’d be forgiven for thinking that sticking to a plant-based diet is expensive business. While it can be, that’s not always the case. Here are some easy ways to eat plant-based without blowing your budget:
Avoid pre-packaged alternatives
Sometimes you might fancy a pre-packaged veggie burger or don’t want to make your own nut milks and cheeses. We’ve all been there before but if you’re reaching for the same processed vegan alternatives every week, your grocery bill might be on the high side. Instead, try to follow the nude food philosophy of buying delicious, (naturally) nutritious, real food. Minimally processed whole foods and produce are easy to prepare, downright delicious and if you’re looking in the right places, cheaper than you might think.
We’re lucky enough to experience all four seasons in our little corner of the world. The changing weather conditions directly affect the growth of produce and therefore, what is available for us to buy. In the summer, corn and avocados will be cheap as they are in bountiful supply, but you’ll notice that there aren’t so many about come winter. Keep an eye out at the grocery store for specials on fresh produce. You could save money by swapping the expensive early-season asparagus on your shopping list for cheaper green beans. Your dish will still taste just as delicious.
Grow your own
Another sure-fire way to save money on produce is to grow your own. Seeds are cheap to purchase and you’ll always be able to find something to plant at any given time in the year. If you don’t have the patience or space to grow a large volume of veggies, a good place to start is with herbs. Re-plant potted herbs from the grocery store outside or in a bigger, indoor pot. Water them regularly and you’ll soon find that you’re spending less money on plastic-packaged herbs.
Buy in bulk
If you find yourself eating the same grains, pulses and beans every week, it could be cheaper to start buying in them in bulk. Lots of foods such as nuts, dried fruit and even oils can be purchased in bulk from grocery stores, refilleries and international food stores. Although you lose the convenience of tinned or pre-cooked foods, you also lose the excess packaging along the way. It’s a win-win situation!
The My Food Bag way
At My Food Bag, we make it easy for you to stick to your weekly food budget. By only sending you locally-sourced ingredients for the meals you need, we’re helping you eat seasonally and reduce waste. If you buy My Veggie or My Plant-Based bag for 2 people, why not buy one for 4 and pack the other portions for lunch the next day? You’ll have fewer leftover ingredients to use up and you can rest assured that you’re eating minimally processed whole foods for lunch and dinner. Too easy!
In short, there are many ways to help you stick to a budget when following a plant-based diet. The best thing is, you don’t even have to do all of these things at once. Start by focusing on reducing your budget in one area and see how you get on.
Meet the Expert
An eye for detail and a passion for food makes Jasmine ‘Jam’ the perfect fit for her role as Recipe Editor & Coordinator at My Food Bag. She loves stone fruit, especially peaches and nectarines, but the one thing she can’t go without is… Tahini! “I love how versatile it is – it goes just as well with chocolate as it does with salad.” She loves it so much, you’ll even find her enjoying it straight from the jar. Jasmine loves working in the creative environment of My Food Bag and the opportunity to try all the new dishes being created by our amazing chefs.