When wanting to make drastic lifestyle changes such as becoming vegan, one of the first questions asked is, “but is it affordable”? There is a great misconception that being vegan, especially in a family context, is extremely expensive when the exact opposite is true. It isn’t cheap living in Ireland according to The Irish Times, making it a necessity to save wherever you can. Going vegan can cut down on your monthly grocery bill significantly, especially considering that you will pay an average of €9.00 for chicken per kg compared to €1.14 for potatoes. If you have wanted to change to a vegan lifestyle but fear the costs attached to it, don’t despair. There are a number of easy-to-follow guidelines, such as the following, that will enable you and your family to effortlessly conform to a vegan lifestyle on a budget.
Buy in bulk
You might be surprised at how much money you can save by buying in bulk. Most grocery stores and fresh produce markets have a bulk section where you can pick up larger quantities of your favorite ingredients at reduced prices. There are a number of dried, packaged ingredients such as pasta, beans, lentils and even flour that you can readily buy in bulk and simply pop unopened into your fridge to preserve. If your local market has a special on any fruit or vegetables that you and your family use on a regular basis you should definitely buy in bulk as most can be processed to an extent to preserve their lifespan. Most vegetables can either be chopped and frozen directly or precooked and then frozen for later use. When buying in bulk it is important to take note of expiry dates as you do not want your bulk purchases to spoil before you can use them.
Grow your own vegetables and make your own food
It may seem overly ambitious to grow your own food but nothing prevents you from planting an herb garden or filling a few planters with cabbage, kale and cherry tomatoes. You can start as small as you want and, should you wish, continuously expand until you are almost entirely self-sufficient. Buying prepackaged food is always going to end up costing more than making it yourself if you have a large family to feed. You have the added advantage of knowing exactly what is in your food when you make it yourself as opposed to always having to be somewhat cautious when eating at a restaurant or buying takeout. Even if you do want to treat yourself with takeout, you are bound to pay a lot less for a vegan option. A typical takeaway dinner kebab will cost you €2.76 while a vegan takeaway falafel wrap will only set you back €2.48.
Always be on the lookout for advertised specials and compare the prices of a number of grocery stores, even though it may be time-consuming. Small, specialty locally-owned stores are often cheaper than big chain stores and may also offer a discount to regular customers. Join the social media pages of your local stores as they often post unique specials that aren’t advertised in the printed media. The best time to hunt for bargains is mid-month when stores try to up their sales so be sure to keep your eye out for any flyers or newspaper adverts promoting in-store specials.
Going vegan may turn out to be the best gift you can bestow upon your family in terms of their health and well-being. You will not only find yourself feeling invigorated and less prone to illness but will also be astonished at how much money you are saving once you cut animal products out of your diet.