recipes

How to Eat Vegan for a Week on $50

grocery-vegetables

“Being vegan is too expensive,” they say. But, just like any other dietary lifestyle, that depends on what types of foods you’re buying and how much you are wasting each week. Plant-based eating does face some budgetary challenges when you consider how meat and dairy are government subsidized and processed junk is dirt cheap, but getting quality, low priced vegan food can be done.

Because the world of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are so vast, there are countless ways to spend $50 a week on groceries and come home with a vibrant variety of ingredients. This meal plan was developed for one person, totaling a week’s worth of groceries for $47.25. Pricing was mostly done at my local Aldi grocery store, but would likely be similar to other discount grocery stores. Specialty products can be found at health food stores or at VeganEssentials.

Some of the ingredients leave plenty leftover for future use, and others are used up throughout the week. For stocking your vegan pantry longer-term, it may be wise to invest in some bulk dried foods, frozen foods and spices or condiments. This would put you over the $50/week limit in the beginning, but offer you some serious savings later. Here is just one way to create a week’s worth of delicious, whole plant foods-based meals:

Grocery List:
Refried Beans: $.75
Canned Black Beans: $.65
Canned Chickpeas (Garbanzos) (x2): $1.30
Canned Diced Tomatoes (x2): $1.10
Small Flour Tortillas: $1.69
Instant Brown Rice: $1.49
Oats: $2.39
*Dried Lentils (16 oz): $1.54
Brown Rice Pasta: $2.89
Whole Grain Bread: $1.79
Mushroom Marinara Sauce: $.99
Italian Salad Dressing: $1.99
Creamy Peanut Butter: $1.49
Almond Milk: $2.29
Fresh Salsa: $2.99
Hummus: $1.99
*Extra Firm Tofu: $2.50
Bell Peppers Tri-pack: $2.49
Bag of Onions: $1.69
Baby Spinach (5 oz): $2.49
Garlic 3-pack: $.99
Bananas: $.44
Frozen Berry Medley: $2.79
Cucumber: $.99
Organic Cherry Tomatoes: $1.99
Turmeric (1 oz): $1.56
*Garam Masala Spice (1 oz): $1.99

Total: $47.25
* These items found at other stores.

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Curried Chickpeas with Brown Rice
Drain and rinse two cans of chickpeas and add to a pot with two cans of diced tomatoes. Add chopped onions, minced garlic, and a handful of spinach. Add in one teaspoon of garam masala spice at a time and taste until it reaches your desired flavoring. Prepare brown rice and spoon the chickpea mixture over top.
Splurge: Trader Joe’s Vegetable Pakoras (as a side dish) $3.99

Refried Bean Tacos and Black Bean Tostadas
Top warmed tortillas with refried beans, chopped onions and peppers, and salsa for yummy tacos. Lightly fry the tortillas in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil for a few minutes on each side and then spoon on refried beans or black beans, chopped onions and peppers, and salsa for crunchy, satisfying tostadas.
Splurge: Wholly Guacamole $3.48, Sweet Earth Chipotle Seitan $5.59

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Green Smoothie
Blend together banana (freeze beforehand for extra-creamy texture), 1 cup of frozen fruit, 1 cup almond milk and a handful of spinach. Add water to reach desired consistency.
Splurge: Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein Powder (1.1 lbs) $25.47

Lentil Mushroom Pasta
Cook 1 1/2 cups of lentils and set aside. Prepare pasta and set aside. Heat mushroom marinara sauce with chopped onion, minced garlic and a handful of spinach. Mix together.
Splurge: Tofurky Spinach Pesto Sausages $5.99

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Overnight Oats
Mix 1/3 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of almond milk and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in a jar and let sit in the fridge overnight.
Splurge: Chia seeds (12 oz) $9.99, Dried cranberries $1.49

Tofu Scramble
Drain tofu and tear off a handful at a time, squeezing excess water over the sink. Add to pan (no oil) and cook at medium heat with chopped onions, peppers and minced garlic. Add 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric and mix together. Add handful of spinach. Scramble is ready when veggies are cooked through and it reaches desired texture.
Splurge: Daiya Cheddar-style Shreds $4.99, Field Roast Maple Breakfast Sausages $5.99

Meal Plan:

Monday:
B: Green Smoothie & Toast
L: Hummus, Cucumber, & Tomato Sandwich and Banana
D: Tacos w/ Refried Beans, Veggies, Salsa

Tuesday:
B: Oats w/ Peanut Butter
L: Rice Bowl w/ Refried Beans, Veggies, Salsa
D: Lentil Mushroom Pasta

Wednesday:
B: Green Smoothie & Toast
L: Hummus, Cucumber, & Tomato Sandwich and Banana
D: Tostadas w/ Refried Beans, Veggies, Salsa

Thursday:
B: Overnight Oats w/ Peanut Butter
L: Lentil Mushroom Pasta
D: Curried Chickpeas w/ Brown Rice

Friday:
B: Green Smoothie & Toast
L: Hummus, Cucumber, & Tomato Sandwich and Banana
D: Spinach Salad w/ Lentils, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Italian Dressing

Saturday:
B: Tofu Scramble & Toast
L: Curried Chickpeas w/ Brown Rice
D: Tacos w/ Refried Beans, Veggies, Salsa

Sunday:
B: Tofu Scramble Breakfast Tacos
L: Lentil Mushroom Pasta
D: Curried Chickpeas w/ Brown Rice

Reposted with permission from Care2. Images via Unsplash, Pixabay (1,2,3).

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