When it comes down to it, a vegan diet is significantly cheaper than an omnivorous diet, however, you can quickly blow your budget if you get overzealous and purchase prepackaged or prepared vegan food over fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, and grains.
Here are 6 shopping hacks to help you stay on budget:
1. Plan Before You Go: We all know shopping hungry and unprepared can be disastrous, so try to schedule your shopping trips on specific days(s) after you have created a list based on the meals you would like to make that week.
2. Buy in Bulk: Buying in bulk is a great way to avoid packaging costs. Great items to buy in bulk are nuts, seeds, flour, dried fruit, herbs, grains, and snack items. You can also buy fresh ground nut butter that is often half the cost of jarred options!
3. Compare Cost: Compare cost of items by looking at the price per unit for each item. Often times the cheaper option can turn out to be the more expensive by weight.
4. Fresh vs Frozen: When shopping for fruit, consider buying frozen berries over fresh if you are going to be using them in smoothies or on your oatmeal. This route can be cheaper, but it's not ALWAYS the case, so be sure to compare costs. If there is a great deal on fresh berries, you can always freeze them for later use!! Secondly, to save even more, only buy fruit and veggies that are in season! Hitting up your local farmers market when the time is right is a great way to support local farmers AND get the freshest produce possible.
5. Limit Vegan Substitutes: Vegan substitutes can be very expensive in comparison to fresh, home made options. For instance, making homemade veggie burgers are quite easy, much healthier, and inexpensive compared to the cost of pre-made patties. Often times, however, these items do go on sale because they have a low turnover rate, so browse this section from time to time to see what you find.
6. Shop Around: It is extremely cost effective to browse all the grocery stores in your area. For instance, I get my groceries from 3 different places (Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, & Boise Co-Op) depending on what I need that week.
By simply taking a bit of time to organize and plan, shopping vegan can be a walk in the park!
If you have any other shopping tips, tricks, or hacks that I haven't included in this list, please feel free to share what has worked for you in the comment section below!