The biggest hurdle most people have to eat a whole food, plant based diet isn’t the food itself. Fresh, homemade, mostly organic food is delicious! It isn’t giving up those processed foods and animal products. There may be that one food you just can’t let go of, but that isn’t the issue either.
The issue is the bottom line, that line item on the budget when you try to switch it all to a vegan, organic, GMO-free diet, hit the checkout line for the first time, and almost faint when the total comes up. Maybe you didn’t even make it that far. Maybe you picked up the package of organic cereal, or vegan cheese and took one look at the tag on the shelf and walked the other way thinking, ‘How do people afford to eat this way?’ Today, I will be sharing with you 7 ways to eat a health plant based diet on a budget so you won’t have any more excuses not to eat more plants!
I can tell you, unless you have a whole lot of discretionary income, changing over your way of eating and shopping doesn’t usually happen overnight. We make small changes and keep looking for ways to eat clean on our budget and find ways to funnel more money over to the food line. It is an investment, but I can tell you that it is one worth making.
There is one thing I want to point out about switching to a whole food, plant based diet. The emphasis on the WHOLE FOOD part. Most people flip out at the checkout counter because they load their shopping carts full of meat replacement foods and specialty items. Aka, faux meat, faux cheese, nut butters, health bars, cereals, crackers etc. You get the gist.
My ultimate TOP TIP to keep it cheap and affordable is to keep it simple, eat mostly fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. if you stick to that, it will be affordable.
So to help you out, here are my top 7 tips for eating a healthy plant based diet on a budget:
- Make it from scratch – Cooking at home saves money over eating out any day. You can even take it one step further and start making food from scratch, which is even cheaper than buying those fancy, boxed sides, mixes and salad dressings. You will save money and, better yet, you will know exactly what’s in the food you’re eating. Try mastering one new dish a week!
- Plan your meals and shop with a list – It is always a good idea to have a plan. You will save money by knowing what you need and making less trips to the store.My program Thrive with Plants is a great way to start. It comes with shopping lists and tips on how to eat well that won’t break the bank.
- Buy in bulk – If you can, purchase larger quantities, and freeze and store the extra for another week. Stores always have bigger packs that cost less per unit. Be wary, though: sometimes the big package isn’t less. Be sure to check the unit price and be a smart shopper. Things like grains and beans are best bought in bulk vs canned or in prepackaged bags.
- Shop local and in season – Foods that are in season are generally cheaper than the foods that have to be shipped from halfway around the globe. Also, it pays to know your farmer and buy directly from the source.
- Use discounts or coupons if you can find them – Sometimes, you can find a deal or get a coupon on healthy snacks and some of those great, organic convenience foods.
- Stick to Whole Foods – fruits, veggies, potatoes, rice, oats and beans. So cheap.
- Go meatless – If you haven’t cut meat out of your diet yet and you’re still in transition, you can start by eliminating red meat first, then chicken, then fish. Get rid of it, and watch your grocery bill reduce dramatically.
Do you have any local resources to share or any tips that can help save some money? Leave a comment below.
Stay Happy and Healthy!