Going vegan in January may be something you’re
eager to get involved with, to improve your diet, protect the planet or try
something new. But plant-based living can come with a hefty price tag.
“Veganism has been around since 1944 and with
support from groups like The Vegan Society, there have always been ways to
choose more vegan meals without breaking the bank,” says Patrick Huang,
co-founder of MeatFreed.
“There are many vegans who offer support and
guidance, as well as cost-saving and time-efficient hacks to make sure choosing
more vegan meals doesn’t mean inconvenience or being left worse off,” Huang
“We found in one of our recent surveys that cost,
and inconvenience were two of the main barriers cited by those wanting to try
and eat more vegan and plant-based meals. We also found nearly half of our
community are worried about the cost of living and how that can impact food
prices, with 60% saying they would be forced to change their diet based on what
they can afford,” he explains.
But, it is possible to cut down on meat and dairy,
while also saving money. Here’s how…
1. Look for deals and vegan offers
“Veganism, vegetarianism, and plant-based meals are
becoming a whole lot more mainstream at both restaurants and supermarkets,”
2. Meal plan
“Just like if you’re eating meat or any other diet,
meal planning can be helpful to cut down on waste, use up all of your food
shopping, and stop you giving into takeaway temptations if you’re trying to save
money,” says Huang. “Even just a rough guide of meals you will cook that week
and the ingredients you need means you can be more focused when you go food shopping,
and avoid getting distracted by things on offer or discounts you don’t need.”
3. Take it slow
You don’t have to change everything at once, and
doing so may mean buying loads of new things that you may not even enjoy.
“Becoming plant-based doesn’t have to be all or
nothing,” he says. “Many people do switch and go completely cold turkey on
other diets, but that doesn’t have to be the only way. Even starting with a
meat-free Monday or trying to include one vegan or plant-based meal into your
weekly menu is great.
“Then you can build from there and increase if you
want to, or look at a flexitarian diet that allows you to switch between vegan
and vegetarian or even eating meat.”
So take your time, see what you like, and don’t
break the bank on new stuff straight away.
4. Store things correctly
TikTok is awash with fun and helpful money-saving
hacks and there are loads of ways you can get the most out of vegan produce
just by storing it correctly.
Creator Armen Adamjan suggests ventilating bags
correctly with holes, growing spring onions in water from the roots, and
wrapping lettuce in foil.
5. Don’t buy pre-prepared
“I love to buy nuts and seeds in bulk and roast
them myself – much healthier without the salt – and pop them on salads and
stir-fries or as a snack,” says the author of Asian Green, Ching-He Huang.
“Plus they last longer. Just eight minutes at 180
degrees C until golden and then cool on a tray and transfer to a storage jar.”
6. Shop in bulk
“A great way to save money on a vegan diet is to
bulk-buy whole foods such as lentils, beans, and pulses. These are all cheap to
buy and incredibly healthy. Add to stews, salads, curries, and pasta dishes for
extra flavour and protein,” says Rachel Stone, from vegan campaigning charity
7. Eat with the seasons
“Another way to save money while going vegan is to
buy seasonal produce,” adds Stone. “Visit your local fruit and veg market for
This January, look for beetroot, celeriac, chicory,
kale, leeks, mushrooms, squash, swedes, turnips, leeks, white cabbage, spring
onions, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts (if you
can face any more after Christmas).