Is it expensive to go vegan? No! Veganism is not expensive. It’s a common misconception that in order to eat a plant based diet you have to spend a lot of money on groceries and only shop at places like Whole Foods and health food stores. While I do love these types of grocery stores and will treat myself once in awhile, they are not where I do my weekly shop. Back in Canada I mainly shopped at No Frills (a low cost grocery store) and here in Ireland I do the majority of my shopping in Lidl (another budget supermarket).
A plant based vegan diet is primarily made up of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and legumes – which are easily some of the cheapest foods in a grocery store. Plant based whole foods are not only healthier for you, but they are much cheaper than frozen pre-made meals or other highly processed foods.
Still not convinced? I thought I’d include the details of my weekly grocery shop to confirm everything I’m saying. I make almost all of my meals myself at home, only going out to eat or to Seán’s for one or two meals a week. I do my shops on Sundays and buy enough food to last me the week.
My Grocery Haul
- 1 large bag of spinach
- 2 bags of mixed greens
- rolled oats
- 14 sweet potatoes
- kidney beans
- black eyed beans
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tins of sweetcorn
- coconut shavings
- cherry tomatoes
- 5 bell peppers
- 4 avocados
- 1 bag frozen berries
- 3 lemons
- 6 bananas
Here are some tips I have to further keep the cost down on grocery shopping:
- Write a shopping list. You will buy things you don’t need if you don’t come in to the store knowing exactly what you’re there to get. Plan out your meals for the week to figure out how much of each ingredient you actually need to buy.
- Check out the reduced price produce section. Often grocery stores will have a section with overripe or even just visually unappealing fruits and vegetables, at a discounted price. And hey, ripe bananas are perfect for smoothies!
- Keep track of how much of your food you are actually eating, and how much of it is going to waste. Are your groceries going bad before you get a chance to eat them? That is just thrown away money. Do smaller, more frequent shops if your produce is going bad too quickly.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this post and learned a little more about how to be vegan on a budget. Next time you hear someone say they’d love to go vegan but they just can’t afford it, show them that they can!