Does it cost more to eat vegan? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-12-2016, 06:54 PM
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Does it cost more to eat vegan?

Does it cost more or less money to eat vegan than the standard American diet?
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#2 Old 11-12-2016, 07:15 PM
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I'd say it depends. Like since you're not buying meat which costs a fortune you'll save lots but if you replace all your eggs dairy and meats with vegan alternatives it'll probably be the same cost.
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#3 Old 11-12-2016, 07:46 PM
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Like gjbz123 said, it depends on what you buy. If you buy a lot of prepackaged specialty vegan products (such as vegan mayo, vegan meats and cheeses and yogurts, vegan butter, vegan premade pizzas etc or pure maple syrup and other organic vegan sugars) they can be quite expensive. However, if the majority of your diet consists of dried beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables (especially those in season) and some bulk seed items it can be cheaper. Vegan friendly breads can be more expensive (for example, Food for Life or Ezekiel sprouted breads), but making your own can be much much cheaper, though time consuming. Plant milks are slightly more expensive than dairy milk, however, you can make your own for cheaper with the right equipment, and can add fortified vitamins to your homemade milks. Rice milk, soy milk, and flaxseed milk would be fairly inexpensive to make at home while nut based milks might be more expensive since nuts tend to be very expensive.

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#4 Old 11-13-2016, 05:57 AM
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Not if you plan your menus and shopping well.

If you go to your favourite health food shop every week and buy whatever takes your fancy you'll probably spend a fortune on high priced substitutes. But if you're careful and plan ahead you can by basic foods (grains, pulses, vegetables etc.) and create nice and inexpensive meals from them.

By investing in low cost world-foods like chickpea flour you can make things like omelettes and quiche without buying expensive egg replacements.

Soya milk is an exception to the rule where expensive plant milks are concerned, here in the UK anyway most supermarkets stock a low cost own brand UHT soya milk which is no more expensive than cow milk.

Butter substitutes have been with us for decades now so you just need to seek out the ones the supermarkets stock that are dairy-free, in the UK these include brands like Vitalite, Pure and Flora (just check labels).

With the increase in mass produced products targeted at people with allergies, supermarket own brand dairy-free products are increasingly easy to source and typically not much more expensive (if at all) than the cow versions. You just need to look around.

Because the cost of the ingredients for plant-based alternatives are typically cheaper than their animal counterparts (often considerably so), and because more people are buying them - for a variety of reasons including health, allergies and of course ethics - I think it will only be a matter of time before the majority of plant-based substitutes will be at least, if not more, affordable than animal products.
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Last edited by Spudulika; 11-13-2016 at 06:00 AM.
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#5 Old 11-13-2016, 10:25 AM
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I've actually saved money on a vegan diet. Meat and cheese are so expensive.

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#6 Old 11-13-2016, 12:47 PM
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Me too.
With my garden supplying vegetables and herbs my combined cost for all my foods, beverages, and supplements is $4 USD per day.
Just learn to cook from scratch and buy dry things in very large bags.

Learning to cook without recipes is also great. With recipes you'll always be buying some expensive ingredient or something useful for nothing else, you'll often be like 'oh my, I dont have the right brand of pink salt' and you'll drive across town to get it, burning a gallon of gasoline. But if you can cook without recipes you can walk into anyones kitchen make a viable meal with whats there. If was visiting someone who had nothing but bread, mustard, and salt I'd just walk outside, find a few edible weeds to add variety, and cook a 3 course meal. Be creative
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#7 Old 11-13-2016, 04:27 PM
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The "Being vegan is expensive" myth is hard to kill! Along with this myth comes its nasty co-myth: "Being vegan is elitist - for rich people".

The lowest-income people on the planet live on diets that are nearly vegan. Below is a photo from a wonderful picture book: Hungry Planet - What the World Eats (https://www.amazon.com/Hungry-Planet.../dp/0984074422 ). The book is a collection of photos of families from all over the world, posing with their typical groceries. Below is a photo of a rural family from Ecuador. Their groceries consist entirely of potatoes, grains, vegetables, and fruit. No meat anywhere.

Note: Yes, these people's teeth are stained. Although medical and dental care is relatively inexpensive in Ecuador (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathle...b_4561063.html ), it's still expensive for a low-income family of nine, living in a tiny hut.


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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 11-13-2016 at 04:41 PM.
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#8 Old 11-13-2016, 04:31 PM
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Again from the book, Hungry Planet - What the World Eats, here is a photo of a family from rural Zimbabwe, posing with their typical groceries: beans, grains, vegetables, fruit, and some kind of juice. Some of the poorest people in the world eat diets that are vegan, or nearly so.

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_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 11-13-2016 at 04:45 PM.
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#9 Old 11-13-2016, 04:44 PM
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Last photo, I promise. Again from the book, Hungry Planet - What the World Eats, here is a photo of an American family, posing with their typical groceries. Now THIS kind of eating takes money!


_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#10 Old 11-13-2016, 06:43 PM
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I found that at first, being vegan was more expensive. In reality though, I just had to spend more the first few weeks to get ingredients I never had used before (nutritional yeast, tamari, vegan mayo, all kinds of grains & nuts, etc.) I think any time you make a change in your diet, you are going to spend more at first just to get yourself started, and then things stabilize and got back to normal. I have a few tips to keep things on budget:

1) Start slow. Don't buy EVERYTHING at once.
2) Buy in bulk. I save soooo much money by shopping at Costco. Some things that are WAY cheaper there are nuts, olive oil, chia seeds, quinoa, rice, baking supplies like vanilla, sugar, coconut oil, etc.
3) Use dried beans. They are so much cheaper than canned! I soak them overnight and then cook them the next day (usually on a Sunday) and then freeze them in airtight containers. This way, you can make a giant batch and use them straight from the freezer for weeks. If you do it this way, you only have to cook beans from scratch once a month or so.

I have a post on my blog called "a week of vegan meals on a budget" that includes a grocery list and all the recipes for a week's worth of meals that is very inexpensive and easy to do. You can check it out at honeyandcardamom.com if you like
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#11 Old 11-13-2016, 06:45 PM
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So insightful! Thanks for sharing!
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