There’s a common misconception that a vegan diet is also an expensive one, but I don’t think that has to be the case at all! Sure, if you eat lots of fake meat products and load up your cart with out of season veggies, a vegan diet can definitely break the bank. If an omnivore ate nothing bit filet mignon and fancy cheeses, that would get pretty expensive too, right?
The keys to stocking a vegan pantry without maxing out your food budget is pretty simple: eat real food, and cook from scratch when you can. Does that seem easier said than done? Don’t fret! Here are some tips and tricks for eating a healthy, vegan diet without spending too much money or giving up too much precious free time.
1. Cook from Scratch
Cooking from scratch probably sounds time-consuming, but with a bit of planning it’s very easy to work this into your schedule. Pre-processing your food can go a long way. I don’t mean canning, though. I mean soaking beans and chopping veggies. When you get home from the store, cut up your veggies before you put them away in the fridge. If you know you want to make a bean dish, soak the beans overnight to speed up cooking time. It’s so much easier to make a meal after a long day when some of the prepwork is already done.
2. Essential Cooking Tools
The right tools can help you save a ton of time and money in the kitchen. Here are the things my kitchen would be empty without:
- Rice cooker. Get one that includes a steamer basket. You won’t be sorry.
- Slow cooker. Choose one that’s the right size for your family. If there are just two of you, you don’t need a giant slow cooker. For a big family, size it up so that you can cook a whole meal in there.
- Food processor or blender. Mincing garlic and making sauces is a breeze if you have a good food processor.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by effekt!