So you want to be a vegan and you don’t know where to start. So let’s safely assume that most people reading this right now are either considering or are on the road to transitioning to a plant based diet. As a “Plant Based Eater” for over two years I have acquired a lot of wisdom along the way. I don’t claim to be the vegan police or guru but I do have experience making that rough transition and have inspired others along the way!
Can I afford it?
One of the biggest challenges that most people face when transitioning to a healthier lifestyle is affordability. Most people believe that eating vegan food is extremely costly and almost impossible to do on a budget, but as the song goes, “theres levels to this.” If cost is your main concern I say, “don’t let this stop you!” It may mean you have to compromise a bit, and become really creative, but I promise you the changes in your health and how you are impacting the environment will still be drastic.
Tip 1: Buy Organic Only When Necessary
A lot of people assume that organic foods are the healthiest and although I do for the most part agree it’s not always affordable especially when first learning you’re eating style and what works best for your body. Don’t be fooled by fancy packaging with lots of buzz words like, Vegan, Non GMO, Gluten Free, Low sodium, and other various marketing ploys. I’m not saying don’t be aware of things like GMO’s or how much sodium is contained in your food but a simple lesson in ingredient reading will get you farther than labels ever could. A lot of the time they just do this to attract buyers and there have been incidents where companies have made false claims about their products with these labels. So stay informed and do your research and find out which crops are most important to eat organic I.E. potatoes, apples, cucumbers ect. and try for the most part to incorporate that into your budget.
Tip 2: Budget! BUDGET! BUDGET!!!!
Even if your personal finances aren’t in the best shape prioritization should be key. Cable bills should not come before food; in other words make sure you have assessed how important your health is in all of this. Make sure your commitment to a plant based eating style is more than just for trend.
Now that you’ve done that make sure that you are allocating a decent amount of money per month towards your grocery bill. For a single person as little as $200 a month can get you started on a very basic plant based diet. To see an example of how your shopping list should look CLICK HERE to view my Vegan on a Hood Budget Video Creating and sticking to your budget will allow you to plan out your meals and save lots of unnecessary spending. Go into the grocery store with a pre-made list, stick to it to the best of your abilities and keep old receipts to get a grasp on how much each item costs.
Tip 3: Stop Eating Out So much!
You must learn to cook to survive a basic vegan diet on a very small budget, but learning a few simple recipes that are tasty and amazing can get you off to the start you need. I have some basic recipes posted up on this site and there will be a lot more to come! Google and Youtube search, “vegan recipes” and you will be surprised at how many great recipes come up. Youtube channels like, The Sweetest Vegan and Brown Vegan are amazing places to start.
Tip 4: Buy Online & in Bulk
Now you probably shouldn’t do this with fresh items like fresh Kale, or most of your produce shopping; but when trying to find pricey items like organic whole grains, organic nuts & seeds, and organic spice powder, looking online maybe a better option. Buying bulk dried foods saves you money and gives you the ability to try options they may not offer at your local supermarket; which is a lot if you don’t live in a vegan friendly city or town. Buying online, from reputable sources, can help you save and expand your vegan pallet.
Amazon is one of my favorite marketplaces to check for dried options and you can always research different online markets that maybe cheaper or more reputable.
So if you follow these simple tips you will be well on your way toward creating a better plant based diet for your household!
If you have any questions and like this article please share it and leave feedback in the comments below!
Pt. 3 Where do I Buy Vegan Food?
Pt. 4 Can I Eat Out?
Pt. 5 How do I Travel While Vegan?