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One of the hardest things about maintaining a vegan lifestyle is the cost. There’s an assumption that it is expensive to be vegan, because you have to buy a lot of meat substitutes. However, that is simply not true. There are a lot of healthy vegan meal ideas that won’t break the bank. Here are a few tips to help you live a vegan lifestyle on the cheap.
Start With a Healthy Breakfast
Let’s begin with the first meal of the day, which is also the easiest one to make vegan. While bacon and eggs are pretty much the opposite of vegan, there are many other breakfast ideas that fit the demands of a vegan diet.
Cereal. There are a lot of vegan cereals on the market, including many of your traditional favorites. Just check the label and check and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Smoothies. Smoothies are a great source of a balanced breakfast on the go and if you use almond milk or soy milk, they can easily be made vegan.
Toast with nut butter or jam. There are many vegan nut butters and jams out there, just check the ingredient list. You can also purchase vegan bread, which is great for toast. You can also substitute bagels for toast.
Variety Adds Excitement to Lunch
Moving on to lunch. For many people this tends to be the most difficult meal of the day, because it is the one that you eat away from home. A lot of people fall into the trap of just going out and purchasing their lunches. This can get expensive, but it can also be easily avoided. There are many healthy and inexpensive vegan lunches that are easy to prepare.
Like with breakfast, a vegan bagel is a great way to start. You can make a PB&J bagel or you can purchase a vegan spread or you can make your bagel into a sandwich. The possibilities are endless and it can be as inexpensive as you like.
You can also make a tofu scramble and take it with you in your lunch. Just toss tofu in a pan with some of your favorite veggies. You can then eat it on a bagel or with toast or in a wrap, whatever you prefer.
Wraps are another great healthy option. You can roast some of your favorite vegetables and put them together for a nice healthy wrap. Roasted chickpeas also make for another healthy wrap option that is also very cheap to make.
Dinner Can Be Healthy and Inexpensive
For many people, dinner is their biggest and most important meal of the day. It is also challenging in its own way, because you want to keep your dinner exciting and different. No one wants to eat the same thing for dinner every night. Because of the bigger portions and the fact that dinner needs to fuel us all through the evening and overnight, dinner meals tend to be more expensive. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to come up with some healthy, but inexpensive options.
Baked potatoes are vegan and also very cheap. You can start with a potato base and add vegan cheese or butter and a variety of vegetables to change up your meal, as your taste and budget dictate.
Make a stir-fry. Stir-fries are a great vegan meal. You can use vegetables and tofu and come up with a variety of different combinations. You can save money by using frozen vegetables. Serve your stir-fry over rice for a cheap source of carbohydrates.
Like with lunch, wraps or tacos are a great dinner idea and offer a lot of variety. Black bean and corn tacos taste great and are inexpensive to make. Or you can go with roasted veggies. Or you can use some sort of vegan meat substitute if you like, but it is not necessary.
A Little Bit of Work, Big Payoff
Once you get the hang of it, it is really easy to maintain an inexpensive vegan diet. If you shop wisely, you can spread your ingredients out over several meals. All you have to do is plan ahead and shop smart and you’ll be able to cut down your grocery bill, while still maintaining your vegan lifestyle.
Check out our Organic Health Magazine and find the perfect vegan recipes for you.