How to Be Vegan on a Budget

Vegan spelled out in vegetables
The vegan diet can be budget-friendly

Following a vegan diet does not have to be expensive. Find out how to be vegan on a budget with these simple tips and tricks.

How many times have you heard the stereotype of the well-off, privileged vegan? The truth that a lot of newbies don’t know is that anyone can easily be vegan on a budget. In fact, following a plant-based, cruelty-free lifestyle might even be more wallet-friendly than the lifestyle you are leading right now!

New to the vegan lifestyle? Read What Is Vegan Food and How to Become Vegan

Our tips and tricks for the vegan on a budget

So, if you are a student, a low-income family, or just someone looking to stretch their dollar a little bit further, this brief guide will give you some of the best tips for succeeding being a vegan on a budget. 

Buy in bulk and look out for specials

Forget the stereotype of the always vegan shopping at Whole Foods. Costco and Aldi have everything you need already! Canned or dry beans and lentils, bags of rice and pasta, frozen vegetables, bananas, and oats can be the staple of your diet. And they become even more affordable when you buy in bulk. As delicious as they may be, you don’t necessarily need to include meat and dairy replacements in your plant-based diet.

Dried nuts and fruit in glass jars
Buy vegan products in bulk at a lower cost

Learn how to make your own vegan dishes

Take some time to learn how to make tasty, creative vegan meals at home by using the cheapest ingredients for a diet that is not only affordable but also much healthier. The black beans you’ve grabbed in bulk can become delicious vegan burger patties, making your own hummus is quick and incredibly budget-friendly, and scouting for tofu and soy milk at your local Asian grocers might save you quite a bit of your dollars in the long run.

For budget-friendly recipes, try our Quick and Easy Vegan Burgers or this Vegan Tuna Casserole Recipe.

Homemade chickpea hummus with paprika
Make your own hummus out of chickpeas

Plan and prep your meals for the week on the weekend

 Meal-prepping over the weekend can ensure you always have access to balanced, nutritionally-adequate meals that can be taken anywhere for a fraction of the price of a plant-based sandwich on the go. 

Clothing, toiletries, makeup for the budget-savvy

Contrary to popular belief, finding high-quality vegan clothing and toiletries doesn’t have to break the bank. When it comes to beauty, cosmetic brands like e.l.f. and Milk are two perfect examples of fully vegan and affordable makeup companies that will cater to all your beauty needs.

Read more: Top Must-Have Vegan Beauty Brands

Homemade bath products and soap with lavendar
Make your own vegan-friendly products

If you want to avoid pricey vegan toiletries, like deodorant and toothpaste, making your own might be your best option. Figuring out how to make everyday toiletries at home can be incredibly rewarding while allowing you to make the most out of household items you might already use every day, such as baking soda and coconut oil.

Cheap, animal product-free clothing is certainly not hard to come by, with pleather and cotton dominating most clothing stores. Still, if you are looking to avoid shopping fast fashion, try paying a visit to your local thrift store. You’ll be surprised by the gems you may find!

You might like: What is Vegan Leather Made Of?

From challenge to habit

As with most things that are truly worth it, mastering how to be vegan on a budget might take a while to get used to. Buying plant-based staples wholesale, keeping an eye out for the best affordable vegan and cruelty-free brands, and taking some time to learn how to make handmade toiletry essentials will definitely get you the best bang for your buck. So get your notebook out and start budgeting!