How to Eat Vegan on a Budget

Are you interested in going vegan, but worried that it will eat away at your bank account? If so, you’re not alone. But what many people don’t realize is that going vegan can be a real money-saver when done thoughtfully. In fact, research shows that not eating meat can actually save you up to $750 a year! So, if you want to enjoy these savings, this guide on how to eat vegan on a budget will introduce you to some easy, money-conscious strategies.

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Cook Your Own Vegan Meals

Vegan or not, dining out and ordering takeout can get expensive. The average American spends over $200 every month eating meals that weren’t prepared at home. That said, it’s not surprising that the best way to save money is to focus on making your own vegan meals.

One of the best ways to do this is to meal prep. When you prepare your meals for the week in advance, you’ll be less inclined to eat out. Whether you pay for a meal planning service or do all of the planning yourself, you’ll certainly save time and money.

That’s not to say you should never eat out. There are benefits to that too, like supporting your local vegan restaurants and businesses. Even if you cut the number of times you dine out or order takeout in half, you’ll still save a lot of money.

Keep It Simple

Vegan dishes don’t have to be filled with a variety of expensive ingredients to taste great. In fact, making your own vegan meals doesn’t have to be complicated at all. The simplest dishes such as a grain bowl or salad are often the most satisfying. These can be made with minimal ingredients and items you already have on hand, which is great for cutting back on spending. Remember, simple also doesn’t have to mean boring. You can always spice things up by adding different seasonings, sauces, or dressings to a meal.

Shop Around

Shopping at specialty, vegan-friendly stores may be convenient, but it’s not always the cheapest option. Most vegan-pantry staples like beans, grains, and produce can be found at any chain grocery store for a much more affordable value. You can also find fantastic food bargains at international markets. Many of their products—especially produce—tends to be less expensive than Western grocery store chains, and you’ll also find a lot more variety. Don’t be afraid to expand your horizons and shop around at a few different stores in search of the best deals.

Only Buy What You Need

As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail — and shopping for groceries is no exception. If you’re trying to eat vegan on a budget, only buy what you need to create your favorite dishes. The best way to do that is to create a detailed grocery list and stick to it.

If you recently transitioned to a vegan diet, you might be tempted to buy every vegan item you can spot. However, with some careful planning and research upfront, it’s easy to find meals you’re sure to love and purchase only the ingredients they require.

In addition, as a general rule, you should never shop when you’re hungry. Doing so can lead to a lot of impulse buys and a higher grocery bill.

Stick with Vegan Staples

One of the main reasons people believe it’s expensive to go vegan is because items like vegan butter, non-dairy cheese, non-dairy ice cream, and meat substitutes often come at a price. But these aren’t the only foods that make up a vegan diet.

Purchasing fresh produce that’s unprocessed is healthy, delicious, and very cost-effective. To save even more on produce, simply avoid buying pre-cut fruits and veggies that charge a price for convenience. Other vegan staples such as grains and beans are also extremely affordable. While specialty vegan items are nice to have on occasion, it may become expensive if they make up a large part of your diet.

Buy in Bulk

Buying foods like oats, grains, nuts, and seeds in bulk is usually less expensive than purchasing individual, pre-packaged foods. However, don’t assume that every bulk bin is always cheaper. To determine which product is less, look for the price per unit. This will tell you the exact cost per ounce or pound. In addition, you don’t have to limit yourself to the bulk products available in-store. There are plenty of websites that offer great deals on bulk food items and pantry staples.

Eat Seasonally

Eating fruits and vegetables when they’re in season has its benefits, especially for your wallet! Fresh produce is cheaper when it’s in season because it’s more abundant. Plus, seasonal produce tastes better and has more nutrients.

It’s also a smart idea to shop local! When you buy produce that’s grown locally, like from a farmer’s market or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), the travel and storage expenses are less, which reduces production costs.

Buy Frozen

Want to freeze your spending? Then consider buying frozen produce! Some people think that frozen produce isn’t as nutritional as fresh produce, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Fruits and vegetables are picked at peak ripeness, which is when they’re most nutritious. Once they’re harvested, they’re cleaned, cut, and frozen within a few hours, which preserves the nutrients.

In addition to having a near-identical nutritional profile to their fresh counterparts, frozen produce can save you time, because all the trimming, washing, and chopping is already done. Plus, the shelf life is much longer, so you’ll never have to worry about throwing away old produce that you never got around to eating, hence saving you money.

Visit Beyond Sushi in NYC

We hope this guide on how to eat vegan on a budget assists you! However, when you become tired of cooking at home, choose Beyond Sushi as your vegan restaurant of choice. We’re best known for our innovative, plant-based offerings and globally-inspired menu that will leave a lasting impact on both your palette and the planet. Dine in with us or order takeout or delivery today!

Order Now

5 Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet

One of the most common questions vegans get asked is “why did you go vegan?” While many vegans adopt a cruelty-free lifestyle for ethical reasons, a growing number of people are turning to a vegan diet for its health benefits. Eating a plant-based diet is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body—and there’s plenty of research to back that up! Here are five health benefits of a vegan diet that will make you want to fill your plates with plants.

Find your favorite vegan dishes at Beyond Sushi! On the menu, you’ll find globally inspired dishes that will leave a lasting impact on both your palette and the planet. Order Now

A Vegan Diet Protects Against Cancer

Did you know that one in three cancers are linked to diet? While that statistic may seem scary or even shocking, it also means that you have more control than you think when it comes to cancer prevention. And some studies have shoe that a vegan diet may help! Research shows that following a vegan diet can lower your risk of developing cancer by 15%. It’s all because of what you put on (and leave off) your plate.

Here are just some of the ways going vegan can help you fight back against cancer:

  • Consuming seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day may reduce the risk of cancer by 15%
  • Eating beans, lentils and other legumes regularly may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by 9-18%
  • Women who average one cup of soy milk or about a ½ cup of tofu daily reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by 30%
  • Not eating meat and processed meats, which the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared carcinogenic to humans in 2015, may reduce certain types of cancer
  • Ditching dairy, which is linked to increase rates of prostate cancer, may also reduce your risk

While there’s no guarantee that a vegan diet can prevent cancer, these studies seem to suggest some benefit. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

A Vegan Diet is Good for Your Brain

Most people believe that cognitive and mental decline is a part of getting older—but it doesn’t have to be! Lifestyle choices, including your diet, can help protect your brain and keep it firing on all cylinders into your golden years.

A vegan diet brings a whole new meaning to “brain food.” While saturated and trans fats found in dairy products, meats and fried foods can increase the risk for cognitive decline, a vegan diet can protect the brain. Foods rich in vitamin E, like berries, nuts, seeds, leafy greens and whole grains, are particularly beneficial when it comes to boosting your brain health.

A Vegan Diet is Heart Healthy

Here’s a fact that will get your heart racing: every 36 seconds someone dies from cardiovascular or heart disease in the United States, making it the leading cause of death. So, what is heart disease? Heart disease is a term used to refer to heart conditions that specifically affect the blood vessels and arteries. The most common forms of heart disease include heart attacks, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), arrhythmia (abnormal heart beat) and heart failure.

You were probably taught from a young age that smoking and other lifestyle factors can increase your risk for developing heart problems, including your diet. But here’s the good news: heart disease can be prevented and even reversed by going vegan! According to a 2014 study published in “Nutrients,” vegans have a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease. Why? Unlike meat, cheese and dairy, which are loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat that cause plaque buildup in the arteries, vegan diets contain no dietary cholesterol, minimal saturated fat, and lots of fiber.

A Vegan Diet Can Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes

Within the last 20 years, adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have more than doubled. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 34 million Americans suffer from diabetes. What’s more, over 88 million adults are prediabetic, and nearly 85% don’t even know it.

Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune condition, type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease, and your diet plays a large role in whether or not you’ll develop it. Luckily, according to Dr. Neal Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine, a plant-based diet “is a powerful tool for preventing, managing, and even reversing type 2 diabetes.”

Research conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that following a plant-based diet reduces your risk of developing diabetes by more than 20%. The researchers noted “healthy plant-based foods have been shown to individually and jointly improve insulin sensitivity and blood pressure, reduce weight gain, and alleviate systemic inflammation, all of which can contribute to diabetes risk.” A vegan diet is also high in dietary fiber, which has been shown to help regulate blood sugar.

A Vegan Diet Reduces Obesity

Rates of obesity in America are at an all-time high. over 40% of the adult population suffers from the disease, which is classified as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or above. Obesity is much more than just numbers on scale. It comes with a host of complications and is associated with a higher risk for developing all of the chronic diseases mentioned above: type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Enter the vegan diet! One of the most common “side effects” of going vegan is weight-loss, which can lead to a lower BMI. Studies have shown vegans have lower BMIs than non-vegans and each additional year of following a vegan diet lowers the risk of obesity by 7%.

Visit Beyond Sushi in NYC

Beyond Sushi is New York City’s leading vegan restaurant chain best known for our innovative plant-based offerings. On the menu, you’ll find globally inspired dishes that will leave a lasting impact on both your palette and the planet. Dine in with us or order takeout or delivery today!

Order Now