Does living a plant-based diet have to be expensive?
Short answer: HELL NO.
Like any way of eating there are ways to make a vegan diet very expensive; fancy meat alternatives, boujee almond milk, and decadent vegan treats.
However, eating plant-based can be one of the cheapest and easiest ways to eat. Not to mention the endless benefits it has on your personal health AND the planet’s. Below are my TOP 5 cheap, delicious, and nutritious vegan staples.
Whether you vegan, looking to add more plant-based meals into your diet, or simply balling on a budget. I hope you find this list helpful!
What comes to mind when someone says oatmeal? Maybe some sort of glue-like sludge that is really only delicious if it’s covered in brown sugar? Or possibly a bag of Quaker microwave oats? \
For a lot of people, this may be their view of oatmeal. But oatmeal does not have to be that way. Not only are whole rolled oats a filling and simply breakfast food, but they can also act as the base for homemade granola bars, granola, and other plant-based treats.
My go-to simply oatmeal recipe is as follows:
1 cup oats
1 cup water
1 cup plant milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp chia seeds
½ apple, chopped
1-2 tbsp peanut butter
Pure maple syrup to taste
Combine oats, water, and milk in a small pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated and the oatmeal reaches your desired consistency. Add in cinnamon, chia seeds, apple, nut butter, and maple syrup to taste. There you have it, simple as that and ready in 5 minutes.
2. BEANS, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more…plant-based protein you get!
Beans are one of the simplest and cheapest ways to get protein on a vegan diet. Plus, there are SO many different types.
My two “go-to” beans are black beans and garbanzo beans. If you have a difficult time digesting beans, I suggest that you sauté them after rinsing them (if coming from a can). Doing this can help make them a bit more digestible and help lessen your bean related flatulence.
3. RICE AND OTHER WHOLE GRAINS (barley, bulgur, quinoa)
Rice is one of the most affordable whole grains out there! I recommend cooking a few cups of rice at the beginning of each week so you can easily add to your meals for the following few days. A simple meal idea that incorporates both rice and beans is a burrito bowl:
Combine rice, beans, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, salsa, and lime to a bowl for an easy meal you can enjoy fresh and/or meal prep.
As an avid runner I have always loved pasta, especially the night before a long run. But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat pasta regularly. When it comes to choosing what type of pasta to buy, I usually stick to whole grain noodles, one’s that say 100% whole wheat.
These contain more fiber and are less processed than other pastas. However, that does NOT mean other pasta is inherently bad. Find what you enjoy eating and stick with that!
5. POTATOES: boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew!
But really, there is a lot of truth to that statement. A 5 lb. bag of potatoes (at least where I live in Washington State) usually costs about $3…that’s less than a small latte people!
Russet potatoes are the most budget friendly but when buying in bulk, sweet potatoes, and yams can also be quite affordable. My favorite recipes to make are over baked French fries (recipe below) as well putting them in soup or stew. The options are truly ENDLESS when it comes to the magical potato.
Adopting a plant-based lifestyle is the single easiest way to help combat the climate crisis, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. By focusing on these main staples, you’re sure to have the beginnings of delicious, nutritious, and sustainable way of eating.
Lost on what to make? Below are my favorite recipes/blogs that full of simple recipes to get you started!