When you tell people that you’re vegan they’re guaranteed to say one of these things:
“I could never give up cheese”
“I’d love to go vegan but it’s so expensive”
It is true that some people might not be able to give up cheese or bacon, but it is totally false that being vegan is inherently expensive. If it was, how on earth would a quarter of UK vegans be 15-24 years old? If being vegan on a budget has always seemed a mystery to you, wonder no longer as we’re about to break it down.
1. Don’t buy processed food
Processed vegan food such as veggie sausages, meatless meatballs and Facon can really drive up the cost of your weekly shop as brands push up the price marks for vegan-friendly foods. Not only that, it’s not healthy to eat fake meat with every meal. To keep within your budget we recommend buying processed foods as a treat or when they’re on offer.
2. 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
If money’s tight, consider making your own versions of your favourite vegan foods/drinks. 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
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 or 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
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 quick. 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 for dried oregano or thyme.
7. Coke cake
Yes, this seems mental I know. But if you add a can of full-fat coke to a chocolate cake mix, it makes the perfect cake with both minimal cost and effort. If you don’t believe me, try it.