By Hannah Rhomberg
Are you vegan on a budget? Sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Maybe you’re a college student living on a student’s budget, yet want to maintain a healthy, cruelty-free lifestyle. While there are many vegan processed foods these days, they tend to be more expensive than the average budget can afford. Now don’t give up hope! I am here to tell you there are many resources available to you when planning your budget around a vegan lifestyle.
Coupons! Everyone loves coupons, and if there is one thing I have come to discover from being vegan, it is that a little newspaper hunting and a few nice emails to some big name vegan companies will provide you with a plethora of great money saving coupons! A few companies I recommend:
Tofutti – Gave me the most and some of the best coupons! At least 4 of them were for a free tofutti product up to $5.00!
Earth Balance – Many of the coupons were for some of their newest products which was motivation enough to try something new.
Follow Your Heart – Many, many coupons for Vegenaise! And who doesn’t love Vegenaise?!
A few other companies I have contacted and received from were Silk, Tofurky, and Blue Diamond. From my research, I’ve discovered that Daiya does not offer any coupons. However, I have not tried to contact them personally. Perhaps if enough hungry vegans send them some loving emails they’ll change their minds and send us some savings!
Aside from starting your extreme couponing addiction, what else can you do to save money? Learn to love cooking. All of the vegan processed foods found at stores can made at home. In fact, I have found that by making them at home you not only know every ingredient that is in your food, but you tend to make enough to provide yourself with leftovers, which can be your best friend if you are living a non-stop busy lifestyle.
As a Pinterest addict, I would like to bring your attention to a simple search of, “vegan frozen meals.” Here you can find countless recipes of meals you can make and freeze for later which vary from crock pot meals to oven meals, pizzas, and burritos. Some pins are even titled, “Once a month freezer meals.” These recipes will provide you with enough food to last an entire month.
If you prefer to do your own research on how to plan a vegan meal on a budget, there are many great books available to you as well. Vegan on the Cheap offers 150 recipes to its readers. Most vary in price from $0.50 to $2.00 per serving. Eat Vegan on $4.00 a Day teaches its readers how to turn their favorite foods into vegan dishes all while saving money. Student’s Go Vegan Cookbook provides recipes focused towards a student’s budget along with some education about what foods supply proper nutrition. All of these books can be found on Amazon, and if searching locally, bookstores such as Half Priced Books offer an entire section of vegan cookbooks. If you’re not a book savvy person, websites such as Plant Based on a Budget offer many of the same money saving tips as these books along with a wide variety of recipes.
Being vegan on a budget is not an impossible task! With a little research and an open mind to new foods, it is actually quite simple. Once you are able to familiarize yourself with how and where to save money, it just gets easier. So, gather some coupons, pick up a book, and sit down and enjoy your homemade vegan meal!