Going on a plant-based diet offers various benefits for your health. Some of these include:
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and other diseases
- Weight loss
- Better digestion
- Increased energy
However, switching to a plant-based lifestyle can be tricky when you’re on a budget. The prices of plant-based food can get expensive depending on where you live. As such, it’s important to know how to make this change as easy and affordable as possible.
Here are some tips for eating a plant-based diet while staying within your budget.
1) Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save money on groceries. You’ll pay less per unit when you buy in bulk than in smaller quantities. This will help you cut down on costs by saving money on packaging and shipping fees. You can buy larger quantities of certain staples like rice or beans. These kinds of food don’t perish easily, so buying them in large quantities is more practical.
2) Shop at Farmers’ Markets
If you want to eat healthily but aren’t sure how much you should spend on groceries each week, farmers’ markets might be an option for you. Farmers’ markets offer fresh produce from local farms and are typically less expensive than supermarkets. You can also find a variety of other products, such as herbs, spices, cheeses, etc.
Farmer’s markets tend to have lower prices because they offer products that are in season. So if you shop there during springtime, you’ll pay less for seasonal vegetables and fruits, such as apples, bananas, carrots, limes, etc.
3) Plan Your Meals
Creating a meal plan can help you save money on groceries. If you know what to cook for every meal, then you won’t end up buying products that you won’t use. Planning your meals in advance will also allow you to avoid impulse buying. Impulse purchases often lead to buying high-priced items that you didn’t even need.
There are many ways to help you plan your meals. For instance, if you’re trying to add greens to your child’s diet, you can have them pick out a recipe from a book or website. This can help ensure that they eat healthy while still enjoying their food. Cooking videos and YouTube channels are also good resources for meal planning.
4) Invest in Quality Kitchen Appliances
Quality kitchen appliances can help you save money on groceries. They allow you to make a wider variety of meals using the same ingredients. Here are some of the basic kitchen equipment that you should invest in:
- Blender – A blender allows you to blend things quickly. It’s especially useful for smoothies and soups.
- Food processor – A food processor makes chopping veggies quick and simple. It’s also very helpful for making nut butter, dips, and purees.
- Rice cooker – Rice cookers are versatile appliances that can steam and cook a variety of whole grains, like rice and quinoa.
- Slow cooker or instant pots – These appliances allow you to throw ingredients in a pot and cook them at the touch of a button. You can use it to make stews, soups, and chili.
5) Buy Frozen
Going on a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you always have to buy fresh produce. Remember, fresh produce goes bad fast and has a limited shelf life. Buying frozen produce is a great way to get more bang for your buck when it comes to nutrition.
Frozen fruit and vegetables will last longer than their fresh counterparts. Preparing them is also easier since you don’t have to wash and peel them first. Plus, many frozen foods are already cooked, so you spend less time cooking.
6) Freeze Your Leftovers
If you constantly find yourself making too much food for yourself and your family, consider freezing leftovers instead of throwing them away. Not only does this save you money, but it also helps reduce food waste.
You can store leftover food in freezer bags or containers. Once you’re ready to eat the food, simply thaw and reheat them. This process also reduces the amount of time spent preparing meals.
7) Grow Your Own Food
Growing your own food is another way to save money on groceries. You don’t have to be an expert gardener to grow your own produce. Plenty of books and websites teach people how to grow their own food.
First, you can start with a few basic herbs like basil, parsley, and rosemary. Once you get the hang of growing your own food, you’ll want to expand your garden.
Aside from saving money, having your own garden offers the following benefits:
- It teaches you how to be self-sufficient.
- It gives you control over what you put into your body.
- It helps you reduce your environmental impact.
8) Shop Seasonally
As mentioned earlier, shopping seasonally is another way to save on groceries. Buying fruits and vegetables in season ensures you purchase the produce at its peak quality. This saves you money because you won’t need to pay as much for these items.
You don’t necessarily have to go to farmers’ markets to shop seasonally. Grocery stores often carry seasonal produce. You can do your own research about seasonal produce and shop accordingly.
9) Shop Locally
Buying locally is another way to save big bucks on groceries. This is because it takes less energy to transport locally grown products than those produced elsewhere.
In addition, when you support your local economy, you’re helping out small businesses that provide jobs. In turn, they give you better deals on products and services. This practice also benefits the environment because less energy is used to ship goods.
10) Stack on Spices
Spices elevate any dish. Different flavors add depth and complexity to dishes. They also make meals more interesting. To help you save money on a plant-based diet, try collecting spices. This way, you can make various meals without spending extra cash. You can stick basic produce like beans, rice, and pasta in the pantry. Then, use spices to enhance their flavor.
It can be challenging to stick to a plant-based diet, especially when you’re on a budget. However, it’s not impossible. With a few tips and tricks, you can easily transition to a plant-based diet and live a healthier lifestyle.