Eating a vegan diet can be a great choice for your health, the environment and animal welfare, but it’s not always easy to do it on a budget. However, with a little bit of planning and creativity, it’s definitely possible to enjoy a delicious and nutritious plant-based diet without breaking the bank. In this listicle, we will explore some tips and tricks for eating vegan on a budget, from meal planning and shopping in bulk, to growing your own produce and getting creative with leftovers. Whether you’re a new vegan or a seasoned pro, these tips will help you save money and eat well.When you tell people that you’re vegan they’re guaranteed to say one of these things:

1. Meal prep

meal prep to eat vegan on a budget

Plan your meals ahead of time. This will help you avoid impulse purchases and ensure that you always have the ingredients you need on hand. Try to make a weekly meal plan and a corresponding grocery list to help you stay organised. This tip is actually handy for anyone on a budget, regardless of whether or not you’re trying to eat vegan.

 2. Legumes are your friend

When eating vegan on a budget, remember that legumes are your friend. The holy trinity of cheap vegan food is chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans.  You can make so many filling, cheap and delicious meals with these as your main ingredient. Think chickpea curry, lentil ragu, burritos and chilli. Legumes are super healthy and packed with protein, meaning you’ll be fuller for longer.

3. Make your own

Cooking vegan on a budget

Eating out can be expensive, especially if you’re trying to stick to a vegan diet. By cooking at home, you’ll be able to control the ingredients and the portion sizes, which can help you save money. You can make veggie burgers from a blend of veg, chickpeas and spices or your own cheese using cashews. Don’t waste money on £2 barista oat milk, simply make your own by soaking oats in water and straining them. This can save on cash whilst being healthier than shop-bought alternatives. Doing this is one of the easiest ways to eat vegan on a budget.

4. Don’t choose products marketed to vegans

Our next tip for eating vegan on a budget is to avoid products marketed to vegans. Often brands mark up the prices on their vegan items as people assume they can’t get vegan versions elsewhere without realising that many items are ‘accidentally vegan’. For instance, don’t buy vegan cookies but save your pennies and buy Oreos. Likewise, don’t bother looking everywhere for cereal because many breakfast options, such as Weetos and chocolate chip Weetabix, are also vegan. Check out @accidentallyveganUK on Instagram for updates on the best accidentally vegan treats.

5. Don’t feel the need to try everything

vegan food on a budget

When a restaurant brings out a new vegan option or there’s a new vegan chocolate bar in Sainsbury’s, don’t feel the need to try it every single time. Seeing new vegan products is exciting and the growth in veganism has meant that new products come out all the time, so if you were to try them all you’d go broke pretty quickly. If you want to try something I’d read the reviews first and see if you really want to invest before falling for the gimmick. Click here to read our reviews on all of the best vegan products.

6. Twist the recipe

If a recipe asks you to use a specific, rare type of chilli or you’d have to buy a whole jar of bay leaves just to use one, just don’t. A quick google can help you find substitutes that you probably already have in your cupboard. For example, you can replace bay leaves with dried oregano or thyme.

7. Get creative with leftovers

Don’t let leftovers go to waste. Instead, use them to create new and delicious meals. For example, if you have leftover rice, you can make fried rice or a rice salad. It’s one of the easiest ways to eat a vegan diet on a budget, while also avoiding waste.

8. Invest in a pressure cooker

invest in a pressure cooker to eat vegan on a budget

A pressure cooker can be a great investment for a vegan on a budget. It allows you to cook grains, legumes and vegetables quickly, which can save you time and money. Some are expensive, but if you search around you can find one for under £20.

Eating vegan on a budget is absolutely possible, it just takes a little bit of planning. So whether you invest in cooking equipment, or choose your ingredients more carefully, we hope these tips have helped. Why not try out some of the vegan recipes from our healthy student meals on a budget list next?