When I became vegan I went straight to the specialist diet section of my supermarket and was shocked at the prices.
I have since read many posts from people asking why it costs so much to eat vegan. I found that it doesn’t have to, so I thought it was worth writing this quick post.
Why is Vegan Food SO Expensive
Big Business sees plant based foods as the next big cash cow. If you just want to eat the same junk food, but have it made from plants, then your weekly shopping bill may go up by at least 30%.
Premium packaging and marketing costs add a huge amount to the cost of Vegan foods. As more people eat “on the go” the cost of single serving and premium packaging for added shelf appeal is rocketing. Just look at the subscription meal boxes, the packing looks better suited for high end cosmetics.
Eating “On Trend” will also add a lot to your shopping bill. Avocados and Quinoa have rocketed in price over the last few years, Where I live Quinoa is almost twice the price of CouCous!
Organic food production is a legitimate additional cost that is worth paying but there are ways to reduce this cost.
How Can You Eat Vegan for (Much) Less
- Don’t follow the hype, how much healthier is Quinoa than CouCous, do you REALLY need it?
- Check all the versions of a basic food ingredient. For example Oats that have a vegan logo often cost more than ones that don’t, but both may be vegan.
- One vegan association makes 52% if its income from allowing manufacturers to use its logo.
- Eat whole food, fruit, vegetables, beans and legumes, avoid processed foods.
- Frozen foods are usually much cheaper than fresh. They’re flash frozen within minutes of picking so keep almost all their nutrients.
- Make your own energy bars
- You probably eat a lot of beans; these are MUCH cheaper bought raw. Of course you’ll have the cost of cooking them but you still save a lot, and dry beans have much less sodium that canned ones.
- Use organic sources for the food you eat most and the ones that contain most heavy metals and pesticides. I buy things like Kale and Spinach organically as they are very high in arsenic and hard to wash. You can be less fussy about other foods and wash them thoroughly, for example soaking a bag of apples in bicarbonate of soda and water for 15 minutes removes 80% of the pesticides.
As a plant based athlete you probably already spend more time planning your diet than you did before.
It won’t take much more effort to make sure it’s not costing you more money to eat better.