As the number of people becoming vegans is increasing exponentially year by year as confirmed by several studies it is no surprise why people need to know whether the vegan diet will be cost-effective or not for them.
So is a vegan diet expensive?
This is the question I will be answering in this article based on my personal experience of being a vegan from 2010.
When I started off on the vegan diet I was so scared as I thought all the foods were so expensive.
I will be addressing the most important factors that contribute to the cost of a vegan diet lifestyle such as the place you purchase from, your associations and the types of vegan foods.
Types of foods you choose
A vegan diet has many foods that you can choose from but the cost of a vegan diet is related to the types of vegan foods that you eat.
Just like in an omnivore diet, the vegan diet has two categories of foods. It has the processed vegan foods and the unprocessed vegan food.
Vegan processed food
Have you ever eaten normal sausages, or polony?
I am sure almost everyone has eaten these foods. These are called processed foods since they are pre-cooked/pre-prepared for you and preserved with many chemicals.
The vegan processed food include food that is normally packaged in boxes and have been made to replicate the normal omnivore processed meats.
Not only are the processed vegan foods expensive,but they are also very unhealthy as they have many added unnatural substances.
I use to merely focus on processed vegan foods when I started of as a vegan and thought nothing of it. However, after learning about the diet for so many years I discovered how dangerous and pricey these processed foods are.
Vegan Unprocessed food
There are plenty of natural vegan foods that you can choose from as a vegan and by doing this it will really save you a lot as a vegan.
Once I started focusing more on these unprocessed vegan foods I literally started saving a few hundreds in my bank and this was the best part for me.
The great thing about this is that the vegan diet is very rich in foods that are unprocessed.
Related: The benefits of a vegan diet
The main processed foods that you can focus on are beans. There are many types of beans that you can focus on.
Below is just a few beans:
- Navy beans
- Pinto beans
- Black bean
- Fava beans
- Great Northern beans
- Kidney beans
So compare this number to the types of meat you have and you will see that beans are so many.
Considering that beans are cheaper than meat you can already see how much you can save by switching to a plant-based diet like vegan.
Please note: beans are not the only unprocessed vegan food. I was using them to illustrate the amount of choice you have as a vegan compared to being omnivore.
Depends on where you are buying your vegan food
This is another aspect that tends to make the vegan diet seem expensive.
This is because most people who are vegan buy most of their vegan foods in the wrong places where the prices tend to be escalated.
I also remember that I was like other people and bought my vegan foods in random places that I could find,but all of that turned in 2014 when I found out best places to buy my vegan food.
So where do you buy vegan foods that are not going to break your bank account?
Well there are several places and I will list them below:
These are vegan stores that I do my vegan shopping from. I do use local store at my home as well but I usually focus on online.
Creativity is liked to savings in a vegan diet
How creative are you when it comes to making your vegan meals?
I am asking because this is the great way to have a budget friendly vegan diet lifestyle and this aspect is key.
“What if I am not creative?”
Well do not worry I was also not creative and in fact many vegans are not,especially when it comes to cooking.
The great thing about the vegan diet is that it is packed with a lot of ways you can leverage other people’s creativity since there are so many cookbooks you can follow.
You can literally go on google and type in any subject for your food and you will get a cookbook for it.
Below is an example of how you can look for a cookbook for a vegan cake cookbook.
I searched for Vegan chocolate+ cookbook and these are the results I got.
Do you see how many results this simple search does?
These results men tow things.
The first is that there are many supplies of vegan cookbook for people so this means more options.
And what does more options mean/
They mean the better you can have a cost-effective vegan diet lifestyle.
Secondly this means vegan diet is taken very serious because there is a huge supply for the diet.
Which means you can get healthy options in large quantities.
Buying bulk is key
The best way to save money on vegan food is to buy your foods in bulk. This is a strategy that many vegans know.
The great thing about buying in bulk is because it goes back to the creativity part.
This is simple logic; The more foods you have in your kitchen the higher the chances of you being creative.
In fact this is what my girlfriend did two weeks ago. We had not bought our unprocessed vegan grocery and what she did was she looked in the fridge and in the cardboard and made us supper with the bunch of veggies we had.
When she had done supper I was shocked because I was sure we had nothing in the kitchen.
This is the beauty of a plant based diet.
The other aspect about buying in bulk is that it will save you the trouble of buying over and over again which causes people to spend more than what they should spend on in a month.
So many blogs for vegans to get tips
Since the vegan diet is on the rise this really makes the diet easy to follow as you have people who have so many recipes you can follow.
Since the internet is so big this makes it even easier to follow a vegan diet daily online.
There are many vegan food bloggers who you can get recipes from or even get help from cooking the vegan way.
Heck!… you can even get vegan food bloggers who can help you cook without using expensive vegan food.
Given this fact you can see why it is so easy for a new vegan to follow a proper diet which will not break their bank account.
Family and friends can hurt or help you
This part is what impacted me the most when I started off as a vegan in 2010.
You see coming from a family which are omnivores it was very hard to follow a vegan diet since they never understood my diet except my father.
This mindset alone prevented me from growing as a vegan as I kept thinking being vegan is wrong due to what my family thought of it.
This prevented me from even looking for ways to look for better foods as I thought there was nothing else except processed vegan foods.
It was only after a few years that they came to accept my diet. Although this was late for helping me psychologically it was a great feeling.
You see the family you come from and friends you have, have a huge impact in making you follow your diet well or not.
Have you heard this saying: ” you are the average of the people you surround yourself with”.
I am sure you have.
You see this is true for the food you eat.
It is better to focus on having friends who are vegans or who at least eat more plant-based foods if you really want to have a vegan diet lifestyle which will be affordable and sustainable trust me.
Granted, it can be hard to get vegan friends, but there are several things you can do to compensate for this.
The internet has formed a great platform for us which leaves you with many options to compensate for not having vegan friends.
Here are ways you can compensate this by going online:
- Joining vegan forums online
- Joining a vegan food blogger’s email list
- Look for a vegan community in you area online.
Take home message
Most people, especially non-vegans tend to think that a vegan diet is very expensive and most tend to not follow the diet due to this aspect.
This is not true at all because there are many factors that you need to consider when you are embarking on a vegan diet such as not focusing on processed packaged vegan food.
Processed foods are not only pricey, but they are also very unhealthy.
Other factors to keep in mind when you want to make sure that your vegan diet is affordable is to ensure that you keep a lookout on vegan food bloggers and cookbooks online.
This will help you get to know the best ways to cook with unprocessed foods in your daily life.
Also being online you will get a lot of connections in regard to vegan associations which will help you with your vegan lifestyle mission.
I hope you enjoyed my article and I hope your question about “whether vegan diet is expensive?” is answered.
If you have any questions and or have any comments to add you are more than welcome to add them below.