Plant-Based Doesn't Have To Mean Pricey
There's no denying that plant-based eating is on the rise. With popular diets like Whole30, Paleo, and Vegan taking up space on our Instagram feeds and our favorite blogs, it's hard to ignore. Not only is it a newly popular way of eating, it can combat any number of diseases, most noteworthy of which is obesity.
So why the holdout? Often, it's price.
Filling our refrigerators and pantries with seeds and nuts and healthy grains and beans can quickly become expensive. Completely revamping the way we eat can add up, but following a few simple steps can drastically cut back the cost of adhering to a plant-based diet. Not only will you save some money at the grocery, but you might find yourself spending less on medication and preventative healthcare while experiencing all of the health benefits a plant-based diet can give you. The following tips are not just for plant-based dieters, but for anyone looking to find a little extra money in the food budget.
1. Meal plan
Planning meals for the week and sticking to it is one of the easiest ways to save money with any diet. One night each week, take 30 minutes to plan all of your meals for the week.
2. Stick to the shopping list
While making a meal plan, grab cookbooks or your favorite food blog and write out each ingredient you’ll need. Then, while shopping, make sure to stick to the list. No extra items get in your cart.
3. Utilize the farmer’s market
If there’s a clear plan, and a solid shopping list, shopping at a local farmer’s market is a great way to get all the fresh fruit and vegetables you need and no more. Ever buy a whole head of lettuce at the grocery only to use half of it? At the farmer’s market, you can usually talk your way into buying just the amount you need. One beet instead of a whole bundle, 3 carrots instead of 6, you get the idea. It will not only save money but also additional waste.
4. Shop alone
Whether you’re at the farmer’s market or the supermarket, going alone might be the most impactful way of sticking to a budget. Kids always end up sneaking more items to the cart and a partner can lead to extraneous spending as well. One head, one list, one person shopping.
5. Keep it simple
It’s easy to go all out with complicated meals and fancy ingredients but a plant-based diet is incredibly simple to follow without blowing the budget. Grain, protein, vegetable is the basis for any nutritious plant-based meal. Play around with different spices and seasonings as you can afford it, but don’t get carried away.
6. Buy in bulk
If space allows, buying a few things in bulk is a great way to lower costs of some of the more expensive items on your shopping list. Anything that’s used more than once or twice each week and is non-perishable can be bought in bulk. Some suggestions include oats, quinoa, rice, canned or dry beans, non-dairy milk, frozen fruits and vegetables, and spices.
7. Grow your own
Herbs are a delicious addition to any diet but are also one of the most expensive. Having a few pots of fresh herbs in the kitchen or yard can ease greatly the weekly food budget. If space allows, go further and plant some vegetables that you use on a regular basis.