We sometimes hear people say that veganism is expensive, but research consistently finds the opposite to be true.
One study found that in western countries, vegan and vegetarian diets are about one-third cheaper than other diets, with vegan diets being the most affordable of all. A second study of British shopping habits found vegan diets were 40 percent cheaper than meat-based ones.
A whole food, plant-based diet prioritizes fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and grains. Bought fresh, canned, dried, or frozen, these can be made into countless inexpensive but delicious and nutritious meals, including curries, stir frys, casseroles, pies, hotpots, pizzas, subs and sandwiches, salads, soups, and many other noodle, pasta, rice, tortilla, and vegetable dishes.
The cheapest way to eat involves cooking plant-based meals from scratch, and those who are not proficient cooks, or don’t enjoy cooking, can find many quick and simple vegan recipes online.
Adding in foods like vegan meats or cheeses can certainly inflate the cost, but—as the main ingredients are so much cheaper than buying meat and dairy products—the overall cost is still likely to come down. Since vegan food tends to last longer, there is less waste, and that leads to even greater savings.
When eating out, you may have noticed that the cheapest item on the menu is often the meat-free option. That’s because, even with $38 billion of taxpayers’ money propping up the animal agriculture industry, animal products are incredibly expensive to produce.
Being on a budget does not have to mean bland and boring meals, however. Here are some of our favorite budget recipes websites, which offer hundreds of delicious recipes, to get you started.