Saturday, January 30, 2016

Vegan on a budget?

So since I often hear that eating healthy food is (more) expensive, I thought I'd put this myth to rest once and for all. This whole month I've been eating vegan and I've done groceries at all kinds of shops, from expensive speciality stores to the local supermarket. And let me tell you, eating vegan definitely doesn't need to be more expensive than any other diet. I'll tell you a bit more about some shops I like to buy groceries from and which affordable products I can recommend!Vegan on a budget

Breakfast for champions
One of the cheapest vegan-proof breakfasts to make is porridge. One pack of basic oatmeal from Albert Heijn costs €0.39 which is super cheap! You can make about 10 to 12 bowls of porridge with this. All you need then is some water or plant-based milk (I'll get to that later), cinnamon and some fruit. Voila, a cheap, filling and tasty breakfast

Smoothies etc.
For smoothies and smoothie/Açaí bowls, I always use frozen fruit and fresh bananas. I love raspberries and blueberries, and you can almost buy fresh ones all-year round at the supermarket, but they are 1) super expensive and 2) not as tasty as during summer. So instead, head to the freezers where they also stock frozen fruit, depending on which store you're in. At Lidl and Aldi they have frozen raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and mixed fruit for around €2 per 400 grams. At Albert Heijn they stock the cutest little boxes of all kinds of frozen fruit for €1.82 each. 

Vegan on a budget

Meat replacements: tofu & tempeh
I often buy tempeh and tofu to add extra protein to meal; they both made from soy and they're the perfect meat-replacements. Tempeh even contains more protein than eggs! Nowadays you don't need to go to a special health store to find these. I buy tofu at Aldi which is € 1.29 for 200 grams, and at Jumbo in the Netherlands they sell even bigger packs for the same price. You can find Tempeh at Albert Heijn for example, for €1.49 for packs of 250 grams. All you need to do is give it some love and flavour. Seitan is also a pretty good meat alternative but so far I haven't found any cheap ones. 

Vegan on a budget

Since the "basic" vegetables are often the same at every supermarket, I often buy my veggies wherever they're the cheapest or tastiest. Well, I'll let you in on a little secret (not really but I don't think many people know this): you can find the BEST ready-to-eat avocados at Aldi. I've seriously never had a bad avocado from Aldi, they're just always consistently perfect! I'm not sure if this is the case in every country, but in Belgium it definitely is. 

I kept my receipt from my last shop at Aldi just to show how cheap the vegetables are there. I bought carrots, frozen peas, cucumber, broccoli, julienne soup vegetables and fennel all for below €1 each! Pears, bananas and mushrooms all cost less than €1.15

Vegan on a budget

Nuts about nuts
Nuts can be quite expensive, but I've found the cheapest unroasted/unsalted nuts at Lidl. They have cashews, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts and mixed nuts. I can't remember the exact price but I think they're around €2 per pack, which is really good! I use nuts as a snack, in baking, on top of salads or to make milk.

Plant-based milk
You can find plant-based milks such as almond milk, soy milk, oat milk etc. at most supermarkets nowadays. If you're on a budget, it's best to check where your favourite brand is the cheapest. I know that Oatly costs €1.89 at Jumbo in the Netherlands, while it costs €2.29 in some shops in Belgium. You can also check for own-brand milks, I've tried Albert Heijn's Almond Milk and it's pretty good! Alternatively, make your own ;)

Vegan on a budget

Of course there many many many more things which are vegan AND really affordable. I just wanted to show you some of the things I regularly buy and which don't break the bank. You definitely don't need to do all your shopping at health stores/Whole Foods kinda places when you're eating vegan. You can find almost everything you need for a pretty good price at your local supermarket! 

Vegan on a budget

I hope this post gave some inspiration to all of you who are on a budget or maybe still studying! By living by myself for 4 years and doing most of my shopping at the cheaper supermarkets, I've discovered where to find the best things :) If you're eating vegan, you're forced to be a little creative with your cooking. If you're eating vegan AND you're on a budget, you have to get even more creative. But it's definitely not impossible. Let me know if this post was useful, I can definitely make more of these with other tips! 

ps. I'm not working together with any of the above-mentioned supermarkets or brands. These are just my personal tips! Sponsoring in form of food is always welcome though ;)  

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