A Vegan Diet on a Budget: Harmonizing your Mind + Wallet

Have you ever arrived at the store and wondered, what the hell am I doing here?

I feel like it happens to all of us at some point or another. But what if I told you three easy steps to not only make food shopping an easier process but all of those foods were vegan and didn’t sacrifice on flavor either. Not only that but WHAT IF you could supply consciously bought food that’s good for you, your family AND your wallet – totaling everything out to around 100 dollars. Here we’ll go over three ways to switch to a low-cost vegan diet that WON’T kill your bank account. If ethical reasoning is more of a concern than cost, know that vegans spare the lives of about 190 animals a year, and their carbon footprint is about half of the average meat + dairy consumer. With that in consideration, even participating in Meatless Monday can make a huge difference.

It all starts at home believe it or not.

You might have heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen” but maybe it might be easier to start with something a little less abrasive. Instead of your health movement focusing so much on the physical outcome, let’s tone it down a notch. We can further simplify this statement to the well-known Hippocrates quote “let food be thy medicine”. Though, if we think of it – that’s where it really starts – is in the kitchen!

Taking this time to slow it down does your mentality some good in my eyes. Making it more health-focused is a positive start on this journey. Honestly, if you don’t have your “why” down – it probably won’t stick. Even if you don’t have the time, energy, or funds to get into a gym, following even this ONE step can make a huge impact. Little changes can lead up to big changes. After a while, you’ll likely feel the difference in your physical and mental function after certain foods. Giving yourself the space to set yourself up to meet your goals for the whole week is a privilege in itself! I have vegan recipes like low-fat gluten-free pesto and buffalo seitan with blue cheese kale that I rotate in my own monthly meal planning.

Vegan food
Buffalo Seitan Blue Cheese Kale
vegan food on a budget
Vegan GF Pesto

It’s okay if you’re not the best at cooking either, that comes with time! The fact that you’re even reading this is opening the pathway to change! Being a vegan for over a decade has taught me so many things, and the biggest misconception about a vegan diet (besides the whole protein thing) is that it’s expensive.

Know that you’re taking this time to benefit your body with wholesome, delicious foods. By using a few hours once a week – you’re setting yourself up for sucess for the coming week.

Bringing a grocery list eliminates the chance of splurging on items you don’t actually need.

After shopping this way a few times, it’s second nature to me. I go in for exactly what I need, and nothing else. Since I’m pretty familiar with my local whole foods, I know what I’ll need to outsource. Offsetting the cost of boxed items in whole foods is a GAME CHANGER.

I utilize Thrive Market for all of my items I’d normally buy in the boxed and packaged section. Think dry goods, pasta, snacks, and supplements. You can get 25% off using my link, but under no obligation are you required to. I just want to share what I believe to be an awesome tool at budgeting a vegan diet. The only time I defer from using this app is emergencies, and every time that happens my wallet suffers. You can even toggle lifestyle choices like “vegan diet” or “gluten-free” for easy purchasing.

For in-store purchasing, I like to use the app Planny to go with my written list, and you can check off items as you go. You can digitize your daily check-list to help with optimal routine productivity.

Plan, plan, PLAN. I’m talking workbooks, excel sheets, pintrest folders – everything!

When done right, meal planning won’t be extremely difficult, and only involves minimal planning. Remember the goal is NOT a race towards health, its to enjoy the ride! When starting out, planning a different meal plan each week might be the best. I prepare two meals, and a snack for each day since I mostly intermittent fast through the week and don’t usually eat breakfast (I have an easy intro guide here!)

I make a monthly meal-prep list, which isn’t as daunting as it sounds. Since I buy in bulk whenever cost-effective, I prefer a months view to encourage variability with my meals. I source most of my meals from Pintrest, and even when I don’t directly source a vegan meal from there – I find a LOT of inspiration there, and in the vegan community on Instagram. As I said, I plan lunch, and dinner, with a snack to add in. Personally, I like to come up with some ideas well before the actual day I’ll be prepping to ensure a solid structure. I loosely follow my macros, and strive to have a 65-100g of protien depending on my daily activites.

I’m working on building a vegan meal plan that will be available soon! It’ll include a grocery list, nutritional info, and I’m hoping some video content sometime in the very near future! So make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter, and following on your favorite social media for updates on exactly when!

Infront of Boca Raton Whole Foods

So what it really comes down to is this:

Following a vegan diet CAN be expensive – but doesn’t HAVE to be. When you shy away from processed foods and rely more on whole nutritious food, the difference can be life-changing.

1. A successful, proportionate vegan diet starts at home in the kitchen.

2. Bringing a grocery list and STICKING TO IT is essential!

3. Plan absolutely EVERYTHING so you won’t get tired of your prepped meals or run out of food.

A little bonus tip: don’t be afraid to get creative! If things don’t work out, odds are you’ll learn something from trying. I’ve created some of my best recipies in failed attempts.

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