Plant Based Diet on a Budget

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

plant based diet on a budget

Image by Jennifer

It’s unfortunate that many people never get the chance to experience a healthy lifestyle because of the perceived notion that it has to be expensive.

Money can indeed be a barrier to a lot of things. Chiropractic costs quite a bit. Gym memberships and classes will quickly drain your pockets.

Eating healthy food can be pricey too. But it really doesn’t have to be.

Here are a few simple tips that will allow you to enjoy a healthy plant based diet, without having to take out a small loan on the process…

1. Cut down on animal products and processed foods.

I found that my food bill dropped considerably when I got rid of meat, dairy, eggs and processed foods. Not only do they cost a lot, they’re probably not the best for your health either, contributing to a lot of the chronic diseases we see.

2. Plan ahead.

Planning your meals for the week means you’ll know exactly want you need to buy. There’s much less food waste, which means your money goes further. I honed this skill whilst at uni, and it continues to serve me today.

3. Stock up on grains, legumes and starchy veg.

Rice, beans, lentils and potatoes are all dirt cheap, especially if you buy in bulk from wholesalers. They keep pretty well too.

4. Go local.

Produce from local markets is often cheaper (and nicer) than the stuff found in supermarkets. Shopping there is also a great way to cut your carbon footprint and support local businesses too. Win win.

5. Get frozen.

Fresh fruits and veg are sometimes a bit pricey, but frozen stuff can be a great alternative. I usually stock up on spinach, broccoli and berries for my morning smoothie. Mixed veg are good too, for stir fry and Indian dishes. It’s usually frozen early on whilst at its freshest too, which preserves the nutrient content better than refrigeration.

6. Only go organic when you can.

In an ideal world, money wouldn’t be an object. There would be world peace, free energy, and we’d all spend our days eating organic food and living in harmony. But we’re pretty far from that…

Some fruits and veg are worth getting organic if you can. Those that are usually the most ridden with pesticides include salad leaves, apples, cucumber and celery. Ones with hard exteriors such as mangoes, avocados, pineapples, melons and sweet corn are typically okay to eat non organic though.

At the end of the day, non organic fruit and veg is better than none at all…

7. Ditch the supplements.

With exception of vitamin b-12, vitamin-d, and maybe iodine; most supplements are completely unnecessary. Save your money and ditch the powders and pills. Its cheaper and healthier to get your nutrition from real food instead.

8. Grow your own.

Growing your own produce can be really cost-effective, if you’ve got the time and space to do it. Even if you don’t, you can easily grow a load of potatoes in a black bag full of soil. Tastey, organic, and great for you.

9. Reduce unnecessary spending.

Sometimes it helps to prioritize. What’s more important to you, having that fancy new phone and big TV, or looking after your health and that of your family? Would you rather have that expensive car, or be well enough in your old age to be able to play with your grandchildren?

Looking after your diet now is a great investment for the future. It’s well worth it.

Still not sure that you could go plant-based on a budget?

Here’s a typical day for me:

  • Breakfast: Smoothie of bananas, dates, frozen broccoli and spinach, nuts and seeds.
  • Lunch: Beans, rice and salad with hummus.
  • Evening: Chickpea, veg and lentil Dahl.
  • Snack: A smaller smoothie.

About 3000 kcal of food for the day comes to a mighty…

£4… ish. ( That’s about $6.74).

That comes to about £30 or $50 a week, which isn’t too crazy right? Considering there’s quite a bit of fresh produce in those meals too.

And it can be cheaper if you wish, and just as healthy. Vegan chef Darshana Thacker showed that you can get a way with $1.50 a day (that’s 89p) if you go really basic.

So yeah – eating a cheap, healthy, plant based diet is doable. Even on a really low budget, you can make it happen, and take another step closer to reaching your health potential.


What methods do you guys use to keep the costs down and stay healthy? How do you manage a plant based diet on a budget? 


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Luke Jones
Luke Jones is a mover, blogger and wellness enthusiast. He spends his time exploring and sharing ideas in mindful movement, healthy living and adventure.

3 Responses to “Plant Based Diet on a Budget

  • Some great advice. It can be easy to be intimidated by some of the ingredients that are very popular at the moment in a lot of vegan recipes. If I were to start using such high quantities of nuts, dates, or coconut oil my shopping bill would go through the roof!

    My biggest tip would be to plan ahead by cooking in bulk at the start of the week or on a Sunday – but also accounting for the unexpected by freezing at least half of what you make (where possible) so there’s no chance it will be wasted. Investing in a slow cooker makes this even easier and much less time-consuming 🙂

    • Yep definitely agree.

      Batch cooking and freezing can be such a lifesaver. We used to have a cheap slow cooker when I was in uni, it was so useful!

      Keep up the great work Natalie, and thanks for your comment!

  • I especially like that you added number 7! Supplements are usually a total waste and yet people take them as if they are medications.

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