When I made the transition into a vegan lifestyle, I was down and out, I had left one job and was waiting to take another – disposable income, I had none. My parents were paying for my rent (they’re life saviours) and I was working Friday nights at my local (and favourite) pub to make enough money to eat. So, going vegan cheaply was my only option. Together, Joe, Amy and I had about £30-£35 a week to get food for three of us – this is how we did it.
- IGNORE SUPERMARKETS – GO TO MARKETS: The fruit and veg is fresher, yummier and most importantly cheaper, especially if you go late – around the time they are packing up to leave – anyone from Lancaster will be well acquainted with the phrase ‘a pound of bananas 50p’ at about 4 o’clock on market days.
- IGNORE MEAT SUBSTITUTES: They are expensive and totally unnecessary – you can make chilli with just beans and veg, same with curries, sandwiches, stews, soups, and pasta.
- BUY IN BULK: Don’t think you’ll need a pound of bananas (you most likely will, I mean, bananas) that’s fine, buy them anyway and freeze some for smoothies later on in the week or even the week after.
- SOUP: The day before you go shopping any veg that looks about ready to be buried in a compass heap, chop them up and put them in a soup. They’ll taste great and the best thing is you’ll have minimised waste and maximised fridge room for the next day!
- DON’T GO SHOPPING HUNGRY: You’ll just want to buy everything- mainly Oreos.
- ‘ON OFFER TREATS‘: Have certain items you only buy when they are on offer – in our house it tends to be things we can totally live without like vegan yoghurt, or vegan cookies.
- TAKE PACKED LUNCHES EVERYWHERE: To work, to uni, to school, on long walks, snacks always and forever – then you’ll be less likely to buy expensive food from shops to keep you carbed.
- SHOP AROUND: Don’t do all your shopping in one place is a lesson I learnt from a young age from my mum, it’ll keep the cost down and you’ll get a nice bit of cardio as well.
Just be sensible really – you don’t really need to make veganism expensive, if you’re doing it correctly it should be wayyyyyyyyyy cheaper than a dairy and meat based diet. You don’t need the newest health food or cacao nibs and special vegan bacon bits – despite what Instagram says, you just need some veg, some carbs, some fruit and a lot of pans.