My family became plant-based for many reasons – to save the environment, it aligned with our ethics, to improve our gut flora, etc. But we had no idea how becoming plant-based saves you money. And we love being able to save money weekly so that we can splurge occasionally by finding yummy vegan restaurants in our area.
Here is how you can save money by becoming plant-based.
1. Buy more produce
Eating more produce comes naturally after switching to a plant-based diet. Produce is available from many different places – grocery stores, produce stands, local farmer’s markets – and it’s way cheaper than buying pounds of meat, cheese, and frozen dinners.
2. Buy in bulk
If buying in bulk is an option for you and you want to save money, compare the prices of packaged items to their bulk counterparts. Many plant-based items come in bulk – nuts, beans, oats, grains, dried fruit, spices, tea, etc. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the price difference.
3. Buy fewer processed foods
Most processed food and frozen meals contain egg, dairy, or both (along with many other unwanted ingredients). They also increase your grocery spending. Switching to a plant-based diet allows you to know what is in your food (by recognizing ingredients) and save money.
4. Eat out less often
This may be difficult for some. Life gets in the way and it’s so easy and convenient to grab carryout on your way home after work. But, if you consider your options after becoming plant-based, you might find there aren’t many menu items for herbivores.
For instance, most rice at Mexican restaurants is made with meat stock. Did you know that McDonald’s fries contain milk derivatives in their natural beef flavor? You will most likely find ham in the green beans or baked beans at BBQ restaurants. Italian restaurants use butter (sometimes soybean oil) in almost everything. And how comfortable are you with your fries being fried in the same oil as those chicken tenders?
Indian food is usually a safe choice if you review the menu carefully – ask for no cheese or yogurt.
I understand restaurant options will vary greatly depending on where you are located. Asheville, Berlin, St Pete, and LA, for instance, are loaded with vegan restaurants, or at least vegan options. They also have tasty vegan festivals. But, if you live in a small town where your only grocery store is a Walmart, you are less likely to find plant-based options.
5. Make more meals at home
Not eating out as often leads to making more meals at home. Woohoo! Yes, this takes time and preparation, but your body, your wallet, and the environment will thank you.
6. Fewer medical bills
Switching to a plant-based diet reduces your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. While living a healthy lifestyle, you are less likely to need to make additional visits to the doctor, thus reducing medical bills and saving you money.
Have you saved money since becoming plant-based? If so, how? Comment below!