I. Plant Based Diet
If you only talk about food, it can be cheap or costly, depending on how you manage your diet. It's as expensive/cheap as "normal" food if you avoid hype things like "super-food." The same applies to processed food. They are more costly than ordinary non-vegan foods. If you buy basic whole food staples (fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, herbs, and spices, etc.) and mostly make your food from scratch, it can be one of the cheapest diets to eat.
If you are transitioning then you will probably be wanting to try some faux meats for a while. They will be more expensive than their meat alternatives, but even then there are often specials offered and our advice would be to stock up when this happens.
A good example is Seitan: You can buy this stuff in the stores paying top-Euro for it (around € 3.30 for 330g), you can buy the powder for a similar price or you can just search for an online bakery supply store and a kilo of wheat gluten for €5. As you can make 500g of seitan with 200g of gluten plus some water and soy sauce this means that it will cost you €1 per kilo, compare this to the €9.90 / kg that 1kg would cost you in the store, it’s 1/9 of the price!
In some countries Suriname and Indonesia, Tofu and Tempeh are also very cheap and readily available in the supermarket as ethnic food.
Whole foods that form the basis for most vegan diets in the long term can be very affordable, especially dry foods such as pulses and vegetables. The benefit of cooking your own beans and lenses etc ... from scratch, is that these dry foods can be stored for a long time, so they can be purchased in bulk again if discounts are available. Bulk purchases often also mean that you get goods at significantly lower prices than if you purchase in small quantities.
Plant milk is cheaper than cow's milk, but regional prices vary. Soy milk is not far more expensive than cow's milk in some countries, such as South Africa, and you tend to drink much less milk than when you were non-vegan. Even coconut cream is bizarrely cheaper than cow's milk cream. We can't understand why; but hey, better for them. Almond milk is much more expensive than milk so if that's your favorite drink, you may have to cut somewhere else.
Supplementation may be needed if you find that your particular diet is lacking in certain nutrients. B12 supplementation is a must if you don't drink a lot of fortified soya milk for example or eat fortified cereals. Pure B12 supplements can be very cheap; they become more expensive if in a multivitamin form.
Other tricks exist to get some cheap nutrition to avoid taking certain supplements eg. using Canola oil (about 2 tablespoons a day) would give you enough Omega 3 at a cheap cost. The alternative would be 3 whole walnuts, or ground up flax seeds; or chianti seeds; which are more costly and time-consuming.
To optimize its benefits, you'll need to do some research to tweak your diet and eating patterns.
The only thing you need for proper plant-based nutrition is a grain and a pulse, such as rice and beans or chickpeas, etc.
Read more: How do Vegans get Protein
That being said, know that the rest of your vegan journey is not just a diet, but a lifestyle.
II. Vegan Lifestyle
Vegan Clothing is generally at least as cheap as regular clothing, except for shoes perhaps. This also is largely dependent on where you live.
Besides, when you go Vegan, you also want to opt for consuming habits that align perfectly with the environmentally-conscious consumer that you've become. Which will drive you to focus on better quality materials rather than choosing fast-fashion and buying new items every week or two.
Toiletries and hygiene materials are likely to be more expensive. It will require “shopping around”, but it is wise to first just concentrate on dietary aspects and clothing before worrying about other aspects. As you get that aspect sorted out you can then move forward and meet other challenges that may appear too daunting at first.
III. Tips To Simplify Your Life As A VeganThanks to technology, you will find an app for this whether you are looking for more plant-based food and vegan beauty.
Some of these applications can be used to scan bar codes while shopping to let you know what is and what is not vegan. Others are directories of companies and brands that you can trust not to give money to companies that test animals.
All these following apps are available on Android and iOS, unless specifically stated otherwise.
In the end, if money is a problem, then a vegan diet should be a good solution. Any extra cost may well be justified by the peace of mind your choice will supply to you ;).
We hope you enjoyed this article. :)
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