Doing Veganuary on a Budget
Veganuary is a registered charity that encourages people to try vegan for January. Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products and is one of the most effective choices a person can make to reduce the suffering of animals, help the planet and improve personal health.
A lot of people assume that being vegan is expensive but that doesn’t have to be the case. Below are a few tips and tricks to keep food costs down throughout veganuary.
Restaurant or cafe meals are much more expensive compared to home-made ones because you’re paying someone to make it for you! A big way to save money (whether you’re taking part in veganuary or not) is to plan your meals ahead; that way you can bulk buy meals and plan out how much each meal will cost you.
Here are some staple ingredients that are worth bulk buying:
- Dried (or frozen) Fruit
- Nut Butters
- Plant Based Milk
Whenever you find a good deal, stock up and freeze it!
Fruit can be frozen and turned into a delicious smoothie later on. Frozen vegetables can make a tasty stew or soup.
Buy in Season
Foods that are grown in season not only taste better but also are a lot cheaper too. That may be root vegetables and citrus fruits in winter, squash and figs in fall or watermelon and nectarines in summer. You can check the BBC’s seasonal calendar for a full list of what’s in season.
Farmers markets offer a variety of local and seasonal produce. Buying directly from the grower not only supports your local community, but can also be cheaper.
Have a look at the different offers and discounts available in your local stores. Look out for coupons. Sign up to store loyalty schemes. Buy shops own brands (when you buy a brands product you’re paying for the brand name more than the ingredients!). And check if you can collect any vegan-friendly food freebies.
Veganuary also have a Coupons page – there’s not usually much on there but it’s worth checking out if you can make use of any of the offers!
Foraging is the acquisition of food by hunting, fishing, or the gathering of plant matter. There are tons of free veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts and mushrooms to be found!
If you’re new to foraging I’d recommend staying away from mushrooms/fungi (lots of these could be potentially harmful), but things like berries & nuts are easy to identify!
Here are a few easy ones to get you started:
• Chestnuts: The Sweet Chestnut tree produces edible nuts. These are usually roasted & eaten.
• Berries: If you’ve ever gone blackberry picking at some point in your lives, you’ll know that it grows just about anywhere! Add them to smoothies, yogurts, jams or if you’re not ready to use them yet, freeze them!
• Nettles: They can be found pretty much anywhere. Use them to make soup, tea, & nettle beer.
Visit Asian Markets
You can find tofu, rice, noodles, soy sauce, miso, and coconut milk at Asian markets and they tend to be much cheaper than supermarket prices.
Top Tip: When I visited my local Asian market I also found the best price on peanut butter (it’s also the only one I’ve found without palm oil).
Don’t Buy “Vegan” Products
The well known “vegan” brands are where the myth that eating plant-based is expensive comes from! Cook with fresh, local and seasonal food and you’ll see that going vegan isn’t all that expensive! Throughout Veganuary I’ll (try to remember to) post my my (very simple and inexpensive) meals below. So far I haven’t paid more than £2 for a meal!
Free Graze Vegan Snacks
Graze allows you to claim your first snack box completely free (you will need to put your bank details in but don’t worry you can cancel your subscription at any time!). Graze offers tons of vegan-friendly snacks including the Belgium Speculoos Cookie Dip, the Cocoa Vanilla Protein Flapjack and their dark chocolate Jaffa Cake. I’ve just ordered mine!
It’s great to see so many people embracing Veganuary for a variety of positive reasons! However, as with most major diet changes it’s really important to consider how you’re going to ensure that you get all the nutrients that your body needs. Please do ensure that you are including protein, iron, calcium, B12 and omega-3 in your diet in some shape or form!