Plant-Based: On The Cheap


“I would try the plant-based diet, but I can’t afford it!” A phrase I have heard often. But, it’s a myth that a plant-based lifestyle has to blow your grocery budget. And it needn’t include strange ingredients you’ve never heard of. A healthy, whole food diet can actually be totally the opposite. A simplification.

Keeping in mind the basic foods your body needs  makes shopping so much easier:

  1. Protein (beans, peas and lentils, nuts, nut butters). Remember that one type of bean, legume or nut choice in combination with a grain or healthful vegetables provides enough protein in a meal. There’s no need to overdo it.
  2. Complex Carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grains).
  3. Fats. The health benefits of processed oils is still a controversial subject in the science of nutrition, so I will simply offer that many foods contain naturally occurring fats such as nuts, coconuts and avocado. Choose oils conscientiously and use  sparingly if you are concerned about calories.


Here’s a list of healthy and inexpensive foods to get you started:

  1. Apples
  2. Bananas
  3. Brown rice
  4. Creamy natural peanut butter (multi-purpose protein for toast, sandwiches and sauces)
  5. Dried black or other beans (easier to cook than you think. Google it)
  6. Dried lentils (even easier and quicker than beans)
  7. Frozen fruit
  8. Frozen mixed vegetables
  9. Hummus (homemade tastes best and is cheaper if you sub peanut butter for tahini)
  10. Rolled Oats (they micro cook in two minutes)
  11. Russet Potatoes (let me count the ways to prepare this cheap and filling vegetable)
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A very decent, nutritious meal.

Although a constantly rotating variety of produce (eating the rainbow, as they say) is ideal, it is not within everyone’s budget. It’s okay to eat apples and bananas all week. The point is, you are eating fruit! You are getting vitamins and fiber, water and minerals. All good stuff!  It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Sometimes you will splurge on the raspberries or juicy peaches in season. And it will actually be a treat, because your flavor palate is now accustomed to the natural sweetness of fruit sugar, as opposed to all the jacked-up laboratory produced sweeteners in processed snacks. It actually prefers it.

Top Shelf Fruits!

The food industry is always coming out with new products. And that’s just what they are. Products, that are processed. Not whole and healthy foods in their natural state. There’s nothing wrong with these products as long as they are kept in perspective–as only the smallest part of our overall caloric intake.

Upcoming posts will feature recipes and ideas for simple and delicious meals that make going plant-based a sustainable choice without breaking the bank!




  1. I absolutely agree Melanie. I’d also make the point that many supermarkets have a weekly offer on certain fruit and veg and you can get some good seasonal bargains. I’d also say to buy an affordable Extra Virgin Olive Oil for its versatility a d health benefits.

  2. I have never quite been sure why people think being vegan is more expensive that eating meat! Hopefully as more people understand what veganism is and what vegans can actually eat the myth will disappear…

  3. I can’t ever understand the affordability argument. Since going vegan we spend Β£100 less per month on groceries as a family of three. I also agree shopping seasonally and where possible locally saves a lot of money, and the environment too!

  4. Hey! I am literally just about to repeat what everyone else has said, so here goes… Being a plant based eater is so much cheaper than consuming meat and dairy products. There, I said it. Great post, I hope it inspires more people to try out veganism, now that they know it can be done cheaply! πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜™

  5. This is such a great post- wish more people weren’t afraid of having fruit and veg in the freezer, it’s such a cheap way of doing it and I find that I waste so much less food that way! My favourites: frozen blueberries and butternut squash chunks! 😍

  6. I was speaking to a omni friend only a few weeks ago and they were amazed at how little I spend on groceries! The trick is to buy seasonally if you can. (At the moment avocadoes are about $5 each in NZ so I’m having to go without)

    1. I hear that. Avocados are an indulgence here, not an everyday food. I think nature meant for a balance in production and consumption πŸ™‚ All things in moderation.

  7. I enjoyed reading your post. I was raised not eating any meat. A plant based diet is natural to me. I never considered if it was expensive or not. My general rule is stay as close to nature and have fun. It doesn’t have to be complicated.