3 Simple Ways to Live Vegan on the Cheap
If you’re like me, you’re excited about all the new and improved vegan meat and dairy alternatives showing up at your local grocery store.
Great products with superb companies are breaking into the highly competitive food market with a check in the win column for not only vegans, but for everyone.
Big names like
- Beyond Meat
- Follow Your Heart
These name just a few of these fantastic butters, brats, cheeses, roasts, lunch meat, etc. that are all vegan all of the time. These products rock, but they can come at a hefty price.
If only I could afford to grocery shop like I had all the money in the world.
So how do you live vegan on the cheap?
#1 SCOPE OUT YOUR LOCAL GROCERY STORES/SUPER CENTERS
Make lists and compare prices on everything vegan….produce, canned goods, frozen items, breads, snacks, milks, etc. Get to know what’s what, what’s where, and what’s the price!
I shop at three main stores and occasionally a few others. I know, for the most part, where I can find the cheapest product at any one time.
If you don’t shop there now, you need to start. This place is, by far, the cheapest on all of their products most of the time. Bring your own bags and/or grab their empty cardboard boxes to haul your groceries away. Great for the environment and your pocket. Don’t forget that the food they’ve brought in to sell has to adhere to the strict European laws on food additives like chemicals, dyes, preservatives, and other additives. It’s a great win for your budget and your health. Canned goods are cheap. Dried beans are super cheap as is rice, pasta, sauces, produce and milks. Earlier this year they introduced Earth Grown products that include burgers, hotdogs, meatballs, and cheese. Most are vegan and delicious and much cheaper than most “big” brands.
If you don’t have an Aldi’s near you, don’t fret. Many grocery stores are starting to cater more and more to vegans and their needs.
Kroger is a national chain of grocery stores/super stores. They offer digital coupons when you sign up for their card that you scan every time you shop with them. This allows you to get great savings and build up points to use for “cents off” on your gasoline purchases too. They carry a lot of great vegan products and their produce section is huge and varied. On Friday’s they have the Free Friday Digital Download. Who doesn’t love getting something for free? Yes, it’s not always vegan, but at times it is and then I go for it.
Another great addition in their stores which I have noticed over time is their wonderful clearance sections. These aren’t just your everyday clearance sections though. Kroger seems to put out products in their clearance sections to get people to try new foods and that includes vegan products. To my delight, I’ve popped over to the clearance and found nutritional yeast containers for a 1/3 of the usual price and stocked right up. The same goes for vegan roasts and cheeses that normally sell for $6 – 8 each, that are marked down to $2. One time I went into the store and found Miyokos butter that sells for $5.99 each for $1.50. I was worried at first that they were discontinuing this offering, but happily found the butter stocked ever since then. I love this approach and this not only helps my budget, but hopefully draws non vegans in to try these products.
Their natural peanut butter is cheap at $1.79 and only has two ingredients; peanuts and salt. I am always finding a good vegan buy every time I shop there.
When shopping at Kroger I am always on the lookout for their reduced and clearance tags. Whether they are closeouts or just the random mark down, I’m on it. Since they are such a large grocery chain, they have buying power. They do carry the Beyond Meat Burgers, Brats, and Italian Sausages and discount them often. Spending a little extra time walking the aisles can net you the best deals.
Another large grocery/supercenter where I find great deals is Meijer. Like Kroger, they have a large varied produce section with many options cheap. I try to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables when they are on sale and stock up. I plan my menu around these sale items. More and more vegan options are available. You can buy a package of Dried 15 Bean Soup for about $3. They regularly have sale prices on their FieldRoast vegan sausages, Lightlife lunch meat, and frozen vegan chik’n patties. Mperks are super popular and money saving. These are like Kroger’s digital coupons. You get tons of money off and they track your purchases to keep you coming back for more, by offering you additional savings. They also include offers in the pharmacy and at their gas stations. Their vegan options are growing too. I love finding new products and Meijer always delivers.
So what if you have none of these three giants in your vicinity? What if you live outside any major city by hundreds of miles? How do you cope?
Co-ops, farm markets, fruit stands, local grocery stores, drug stores, and everything in between has great options. Check their sale items. Request new vegan products. Always look at the in season fruits and vegetables. Stock up on pastas, frozen foods, sauces, canned goods and even drinks, and snacks when they are on sale. Find new recipes to use these discounted foods. Make ahead large batches of rice, pasta, and salad to go with your meals all week. Go online to coupon and vegan food sites to find coupons to make your purchases more affordable. It can take some time at first, but after you get experienced, shopping becomes second nature. Make the time to make this work. Your body, your health, the animals, and the planet will thank you.