Meal Planing and Keeping Veganism Affordable for Families
Family meal planning and budgeting just got a lot easier, most parents report a lower monthly grocery bill after transitioning to a vegan diet. The most affordable foods on the planet are solid staples in a healthy vegan diet, such as grains, beans, seeds, and legumes. The meals you can create from basic staples are always a huge hit and not only save you money but also cooking time, vegetable stir-fries, sandwiches, chili, pasta dishes, curry, and salads. There are a lot of products that can be less affordable such as meat alternatives, vegan cheeses, and specialty items. Save them for a treat and remember that they are not crucial to a healthy diet! Use the guidelines below to save money while consuming a vegan diet.
Fresh or Frozen: Affordable Produce
An easy way to help little ones get the nutrients they need is by making smoothies. Sometimes steamed leafy greens just aren’t as appealing as a fruit and veg smoothie, and this is where we are definitely able to cut costs by purchasing frozen produce. Always compare prices, depending on the season certain fruits and vegetables might be cheaper to purchase fresh versus frozen. When in season and on sale you can easily get stocked up on fresh berries, bananas, or greens and then freeze the excess.
Bulk or Packaged?
Buying in bulk can save you money – and help your family stay lower waste. If it’s an item that is consistently used in your family’s diet, it will usually benefit you to purchase it in bulk and also help with family meal planning if you always have it on hand. Some foods that are good to get in the bulk section:
- Nuts and seeds
- Spices and herbs
- Dried legumes
Schedule Shopping Trips
It can be very easy for us to end up making “a quick trip” to the store every day, which can add up very quickly. By scheduling yourself you can shop smart, like only going once a week you can still get fresh produce and have it last your family until next trip. Another tip you can try is saving your receipts and comparing how much of certain items you purchased and if your family ran out or didn’t use up a certain item, so when you head to the store next round you can make a more tailored shopping list.
Use store sales to your benefit, planning this can be a little time consuming, but you can definitely save a lot. If you know the day the sales begin each week, use this to your advantage and get in early to stock up on the items you need.
Getting a membership at a wholesaler can be very worth it, even small families can save a lot of money. If you think you need to test the waters first, try going with a friend who has a membership to give you a good idea if that location will work for your family.
- Frozen fruits and vegetables
- Oatmeal, granola, and other cereals
- Grains and bread
- Nuts and seeds
- Baking supplies and cooking oils
- Vegan snacks (chips, protein bars, etc.)
Prep Your Food!
Using the tips above, you can take advantage of the affordable vegan food options and create a well-balanced diet for your entire family, Using these foods as the staple in your meals can make a huge difference in your health and wallet. Here are some more tips on minimizing your food waste and staying prepared.
- Stock up on good deals on produce (especially when in season) and preserve any extras by freezing them
- Utilize economy-sized bags and boxes of brown rice and whole wheat pasta and grains.
- Dried beans and legumes are usually very affordable, canned items are a little more expensive but still reasonable and convenient.
- Nuts and seeds actually preserve great in the freezer, so buy in bulk and freeze the extras.
Make Your Own Convenience Meals
Preparing your families meals allows you to be aware of exactly what nutrients your children are getting. If you often find yourself needing to pick up premade meals for work or outings, consider buying a lunch bag to bring leftovers from meals you cook each day for lunch.
Do you do family meal planning in your home? Drop us a line below and let us know what works for you!
Find out more information about raising a healthy family by subscribing to Raise Vegan Magazine, the world’s first parenting magazine for vegans published monthly.
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