One of the myths many people have, is the one about a vegan diet being expensive.
While some items are more expensive then their animal counterpart, think dairy, there are savings to be made throughout the rest of your grocery list.
To begin with, you are no longer buying meat or seafood, something that, if you are used to buying quality produce, will save you a stack of money.
Now, depending on where you live, meat and seafood can be very expensive, so think how much you eat each week and think about how much you will save by cutting this out of your weekly shopping.
The price of fruit and veggies varies by location, if you are lucky enough to have farmers markets nearby, you can get some real bargains. I am fortunate enough to live in a farming region, where they grow just about everything you can think of, from watermelon to blueberries and mushrooms to sweet potatoes, to mention but a few, all available at great prices.
Even if you are not as fortunate as I am as far as fresh regular produce goes, your local supermarket (grocery store) will have a regular supply of fresh produce. Don’t turn your nose up at frozen produce either, as I like to keep this on hand as a backup. Frozen fruit and vegetables have been shown to lose negligible nutrients and are equally as good and sometimes better then what passes as fresh in a grocery store; not to mention, being very affordable.
Let’s Talk About Dairy
While you can save money by not eating meat and seafood, one thing that is more expensive to purchase for vegan’s is dairy alternatives; vegan cheese, yoghurts and ice creams are considerably more expensive than their dairy counterparts.
While you can make your own, which will save you a lot over store bought, which is what many do, expect to pay much more for a manufactured version.
Saying that, there are some incredible artisan vegan cheeses available that rival the best dairy alternatives; even better, you can make them at home yourself with minimal effort and appliances.
The same with vegan ice creams, these are very simple to create at home and will be enjoyed by everyone.Fancy a cheesecake, no worries, these are so simple to make at home and you can make them, even without baking in the oven and they are so good that everyone will love them.
What About Honey?
Going vegan means not eating honey; for some, this may come as a surprise, as it is often perceived, that eating honey isn’t directly impairing an animal; this is not the post to delve into this topic, but for now, just take it as you can’t eat honey on a vegan lifestyle.
Did you know that a large proportion of what is sold as honey in the stores, is not actually real honey, with as much as 50% of store bought honey being diluted with additives, in the form of corn syrups and other ingredients.
There are several honey alternatives you can consume on a vegan diet, that does not result in the death and destruction of bee colonies, some alternatives include:
- Agave nectar
- Coconut nectar
- Maple syrup
- Barley malt syrup
- Rice syrup
You can also make a very good fake honey at home, using the water used to boil potatoes, with a few other ingredients added to the mix; I’ll post that recipe another day.Most of the above, are comparable in price to genuine honey.
What About Processed Foods?
Processed foods vary as much in the vegan World as they do in the meat World, there are higher quality products and lesser quality products. There are some very good quality, innovative processed vegan foods hitting the shelves, almost every week and this trend will continue, as demand grows.
Generally speaking, vegan processed foods tend to be slightly more expensive than the heavily processed meat alternatives. Things like sausages, sausage rolls, meat pies and burger patties are generally more expensive in vegan alternatives, than their meat counterparts.While the majority of traditional processed foods have question marks over their nutritional qualities, the vegan alternatives are generally far better than the meat based products.Once again however, making these at home, using simple and inexpensive plant based ingredients is far better for you and less expensive then store bought items. You can honestly replicate most processed items at home, for far less and without the additives used to prolong shelf life.