You Don’t Need to Spend More to Eat Vegan

by Lauri Mackey, CHHC, Positivity Podcaster & Speaker for Women, Authoress at Lemonade Stand

Vegans can absolutely be on a budget as we turn to the four main plant-based food groups of vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains.

But as humble as dried beans are and as easy as they are to cook, I think you’ll find that as you transition to veganism you find yourself in a food lover’s paradise of discovery that could easily have you spending more instead of less.

Budget-friendly vegan meals are full of flavor as one of my favorite chefs in the vegan realm, Toni Okamoto, shows on her website and in her cookbook, “Plant-based On a Budget.” The question
is, “Can it be done?” The resounding answer is yes!

When I first became vegan I was introduced by a terrible book that had ingredients you couldn’t even find in a normal grocery store and had to be ordered online. No thank you.

It didn’t take long for me to start experimenting by finding online recipe resources and trying tons of vegan cookbooks.

I threw one away that touted “20-minute meals” when I discovered that meant 20 minutes of
just the actual cooking part and not the 60 to 90 minutes of prep work prior to cooking! Again,
a big no thank you.

What are some foods that are budget friendly? Big burritos with large tortillas, beans you cook yourself, rice and salsa — one of my favorites! Or how about a brilliant, full of veggies-beans-spices minestrone? I also love potatoes — like anything potatoes. Chili potatoes, cut up and baked french fries, mashed potatoes, hash browns, you get the idea.

As you do your own experiments, remember to try new things.

Find fruits and vegetables that have never made it in your grocery cart before. Try different dried beans and lentils and the multitude of grains available such as buckwheat and quinoa — two I love and use often.

To stay on budget, try online recipes first, and when you’re ready, start adding some vegan cookbooks to your library.

Spring is right around the corner; it’s a time to try new things. Don’t skimp on the flavor.

Happy vegan cooking!