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One of the biggest myths about going plant-based is how expensive it is (I actually discuss this in my book, The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living).
Whether you're going plant-based as a New Year's resolution, for health reasons, or you just want to see what it's all about, IT IS possible to do so without breaking the bank. In fact, it's not very expensive at all!
If you're on a tight budget or new to a plant-based diet, I can't recommend the meal plans enough. Most members spend $30-40/wk on their groceries with a well stocked pantry and spice rack. We've also made some awesome updates and changes to the format, making the individual plan CRAZY flexible! Only buy what you need! No waste!
I also asked Herbies on Facebook to share their tips on how they save money on food and groceries, and as usual, they've dispelled the "expensive" myth with all their helpful advice!
"I reduced what I spend by getting the meal plans. When I shop exclusively for the plan, I spend less than $35 per week. Cooking my own beans saves even more. I no longer waste produce because I only buy what I am really going to eat."- Debi C
"Make your own broth with veggie scraps!" - Jodi V (You can use the HH vegetable broth recipe here)
"Buying in bulk, using dry beans instead of canned, buying local/farmers' markets, and planning snacks/meals ahead of time have all done wonders for decreasing my grocery bill! Just me going plant-based cut our groceries in half."- Heidi L
"I precut and freeze all extra veggies, fruits and herbs (thyme and mint)....if I know they will go bad before use. I also freeze any extra cooked legumes to make sure I don't end up wasting them."- Rachel B
"I have saved money since we switched to a vegan lifestyle. Stick to your pantry staples and plenty of fresh vegetables. Stay away from processed foods."- Melissa A
"CSAs and co-ops are great for produce. Look into bountifulbaskets.org ... we used them in Texas before moving... they are in 21 states... great group to work with and awesome quality produce... I have a family of 6. We do Costco because they have a good selection of vegan things, I go to whole foods for 'specialty' things like Braggs aminos. Bulk flour from vitacost, Amazon or Costco when they have the one I want. I make my own breads, jams, jellies, nut butters, hummus... and sometimes plant milks but the kids aren't entirely sold on homemade milks so I generally only use those for cooking and baking. If you have an Asian grocer in your area, they tend to have excellent prices on tofu, produce, rice and noodles, miso and those types of things as well. I buy spices in bulk and make my own blends. Save clipping and scraps from produce and boil into veggie broth... and Happy Herbivore is awesome for recipes that use every day ingredients that don't break your bank."- Jenaphyr N
"If you have Kroger (or one of their family..Dillons, Bakers, etc), they frequently mark produce for quick sale just prior to expiration. It's dirt cheap that way."- Kim T
"Being plant-based is by far cheaper! My biggest money savers are making my own broth, cooking my own beans and farmers markets. I'm on food stamps (SNAP). We have some farmers markets here in Oregon that will match anywhere from $5 to $10."- Mara W
"I think it gets expensive when people buy all the faux meats to replace the meat they are giving up. If you stick to veggies, fruits, beans/legumes and grains, it is very cheap! I make all my bean burgers from scratch and freeze them! Way cheaper than processed bean burgers! And skip the soy cheese as well!"- Peggy G
"Buy in bulk (oats, beans, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, lentils, quinoa, rice), frozen/canned when it won't effect the quality (corn, diced tomatoes, frozen broccoli and peas), get coupons online for speciality products like hummus, stock up when you have extra cash and stuff is on sale, do regular pantry/fridge/freezer inventories to figure out what you already have buying more."- Marie E
"I use dried beans a lot because they are cheap so is barley when bought in bulk. I also believe eating well saves on doctor bills. When your body is fed properly you don't get sick as often."- Linda G
"I think the cost of NOT adopting a plant-based diet it is too great. In terms of money, though, my family spends much less while eating this way. You can do it."- Catherine K
"I am part of a local farm CSA (community supported agriculture) and I pick up a box of produce from them a week. When I compare what I get for $19 a box to the same cost as the grocery store produce, I'm saving quite a bit and on top of it, it's delivered the same day it's picked, it comes from 10 miles away from me and the farm used organic farming practices. I can never get veg or fruit this fresh and inexpensively at a grocery chain."- Alexa R
"Dry beans. Yeah you need to plan ahead a day before so they can soak, but it's worth it. Another option (and my best friend) is frozen veggies. You can buy pretty much anything for $1/bag and the only thing you need to buy raw is stuff like potatoes or tomatoes. I can get 4 meals out of a bag of frozen veggies (for 1 person)."- Tiffany F
"My family of four eats for a week for $125 tops. Produce is pretty much the cheapest stuff in any grocery store so it's hard not to shrink your bill when you go plant based."- Julie M
"Just avoiding the meat, dairy and packaged foods is enough of a savings to offset my large produce needs."- Debi A
"Buying organic herbs and spices on Amazon has saved me a ton of money! Dry beans. Taking a day to prep makes life easier throughout the week and helps with saving money."- Jennifer C
"I spend 1/3 the amount on groceries by skipping the meat counter. So many fruits and vegetables are available in bulk which also reduces the final bill at check out."- Dawn P
"I use a bunch of frozen veggies and fruits to reduce waste and costs."- Diana M
"Beans, potatoes, rice, pasta , fruits & veggies, tortillas are some of the cheapest foods to eat and they make tons of dishes."- Amy F
For even more money saving tips, see these posts:
How do you save money on a plant-based diet? Share your tips below!