Vegan on a Budget

In this episode we bust the myth that veganism has to be expensive. It's something we hear a lot but it is 100% possible to eat vegan, get everything you need and not break the bank!

Two groceries bags filled with plant-based whole foods like apples, bananas and lettuce

Is it expensive to follow a vegan diet, or is this another myth holding more people back from transitioning?

Most vegans will tell you that their food shop is cheaper than ever. And yet somehow, the criticism of veganism as "expensive" only seems to be getting more popular.

As with all diets, there are plenty of ways to shop, eat out and cook that can impact your spending on food.

Here are some simple tips for following a vegan diet or attempting your first Veganuary on a budget while avoiding breaking the bank.

Cook and prepare fresh meals from scratch.

Cooking plant-based food in a wok

Preparing your meals from scratch instead of buying ready meals or eating out at restaurants or cafes is an easy way to save a lot of money.

The price of one meal can soon become the price of one day or even a week's worth of grub when you prepare it for yourself!

Some restaurants charge upward of £12 for an evening meal, not including any drinks.

Fresh produce, like onions and garlic, are often pennies and last for several servings and recipes.

Stick to whole foods and avoid processed vegan alternatives, faux meats and ready meals.

Whole foods aisle in the supermarket

The best way to reduce your food bill is to find foods that offer the most nutrition for the lowest cost.

While many vegan alternatives, such as plant-based milk, cheeses or faux meats, offer calories, protein and nutrients, they are often processed and expensive.

Opting for a diet comprised mainly of whole foods would likely result in a broader range of nutrients and antioxidants for a much lower cost.

A benefit to your health and your bank balance!

When people think of the vegan aisle in the supermarket, they often refer to the sections filled with fake meats and alternative products.

Most supermarkets present you with various fruits, vegetables, greens, nuts and seeds as soon as you walk through the doors.

These whole foods are all vegan, highly nutritious, and most of the time are the cheapest products in the shop.

Perhaps veganism is falsely deemed expensive due to its association with processed faux meats, dairy replacements and ready meals instead of cheap, sustaining, and nutritious whole foods.

Bulk buy staple vegan foods.

Assorted grains such as brown rice, sweetcorn, chickpeas and sesame seeds

You will likely try many new products during your transition to veganism, and you will find certain ingredients, like tofu, are used frequently in vegan recipes.

To make your food shop cheaper, it is worth buying common staple ingredients in bulk, such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice, lentils, chopped tomatoes, oats, chickpeas, beans, flax/chia seeds, spices, nuts/nut butter, and grains like quinoa.

Start by working out which ingredients you use the most. Once you have figured out which foods you love the most in your cooking, find a whole foods store with discounted prices for buying these goods in bulk.

Buying bulk from whole food shops typically means a slightly lower price for each product - so not only are you spending less frequently, you are spending less overall.

Batch cook and freeze extra portions for later.

A vegan chilli con carne without meat

There is no better way to spread the cost of your food than batch cooking and saving extra servings for meals on later dates.

An audience member of ours responded to the question, "is veganism expensive" with a recipe that makes 12 portions of mixed bean chilli for less than £10.

Spending a day every week cooking and prepping can considerably reduce costs - especially with meals like a chilli that rely on incredibly cheap ingredients.

In addition, batch cooking saves you time later in the week that you would have had to spend preparing a meal or snack.

Fibre is your friend (it's cheap & filling).

A salad bowl with an avocado, broccoli, courgette and greens

Plant-based is a great way to stay fuller for longer, as not only are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses and legumes all nutritious, but they are also high in fibre.

Fibre can keep you feeling full and is beneficial for the good bacteria at work in your gut.

Plants, rich in fibre and water, take up a lot of space in the stomach, which triggers the release of satiety hormones.

Satiety hormones make you feel full, so eating a primarily whole-food diet rich in plant material will fill you up sooner and for longer.

Increase fibre intake slowly, as fast changes in fibre intake can cause discomfort, flatulence and short-term issues with your gut.

Aim to get everything you need for the week in one shop.

Fresh produce in the shop

Making several trips to the supermarket for odd bits here and there can often work out much pricier than planning in advance, getting everything you need once and nothing more.

Most of the time, going into the supermarket for just one thing never quite works out, and something tempting catches our eye.

It may also cost you more to travel there more frequently if you have to use public transport or drive.

While what you need to buy to switch to a vegan diet may seem confusing and novel, you will eventually be familiar with the staple ingredients and most commonly used food. Shopping for everything you need in one shop will get easier.

Meal prep for days out or work.

Vegan meal prepping with sweetcorn, olives, cucumber, tomatoes and brown rice

The words, "I'll grab something on the way", should be dreaded by all of us.

Grabbing something on the way means typically convenience food and additional expenses that seem cheap at the time but begin to add up.

Beyond food budgeting, eating this way is often processed, rich in sugar and fat, and we can all do better than this for our health.

One solution is to prepare meals in advance when you know you will be away from home to avoid convenience eating.

Cooking from scratch is nearly always cheaper than food from a shop or cafe. If you are attempting to go vegan on a budget this veganuary, cooking as many of your meals for yourself is the big takeaway (ironic) from this discussion.

Ready to live your best plant-based life?

Join others like you and take the evidence-based approach to a plant-based lifestyle.

Full Episode Transcript

These notes are auto-generated and are very likely to contain errors. May contain offensive language.

Knock knock, 

Who's there? 

Two Vegan. 

Two vegan, and who 

Welcome back to the two vegan scientists podcasts. God, that is terrible, but I'm sticking with it. . My name is Sam. 

Uh, my name is also Sam. I'm a plant-based nutritionist and coach, 

And I'm a biologist. And today we're doing, uh, a guess our first listener suggestion. So Samish remember last week we talked about our top tips for viu and, and I mentioned a, a friend of mine who, I can't remember if he did V or if he just did some, tried some, some sort of vegan changes last year. Yeah. And his complaint, one of his complaints was that he didn't feel that great cuz he had a lot of processed junk. The other complaint he had was that it was too expensive, the vegan food was too expensive. And so he suggested that we talk about the best way to do vegan on a budget. The good thing is as well, is this can apply to just veganism in general. Yeah. But as it's vegan, it's a good place to start. So it's a myth, isn't it? That veganism is expensive. 

Yeah. I mean, I would say with any diet there is a way that you can shop and eat that will make what you are doing expensive. But this idea that veganism is costing more to someone than the standard western diet. Yeah, I'd say it's a big misconception, but it's, it's highly common. I get that question quite a lot myself. Um, yeah, there is this kind of idea that because of all of the, you know, the meat alternatives, because of all the processed food, uh, the, I would say the modern vegan diet is made up of that. It is looking a lot more expensive than perhaps what it looked a little while ago. Yeah. Um, but generally speaking, this idea that veganism is more expensive than the standard diet, I would say, is just about shopping slightly smarter. Uh, and I'd also say that it's something that regardless of what diet you're following, um, you know, these, these decisions are something we can all take into account, like cooking fresh as opposed to eating out all the time. Um, 

Yeah, definitely. 

You know, those sorts of things. But yeah, I'd say it's, it's become a really popular sort of complaint, if I'm honest about veganism, is that it's too expensive, which just seems alien to me considering I've, I'd say my food shop is so much cheaper than it was. Uh 

Oh yeah. It certainly is. Yeah. 

Years ago. Yeah. Um, 

I, I, I think, I think part of it comes from the people think of the vegan island supermarket as where you get your plant-based meat alternatives or your plant-based cheese alternatives that is expensive, but they forget that actually technically the vegan aisle is also the fruit and ve Yeah. It's, they are with the beans and the PS and the rice, 

Some of the cheapest ingredients in the, in the shop. Right. 

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And so, and I guess part of it is if you're used to eating meat and eating cheese and, and, and sort of, I, I I, I sort of hasten to say, get your nutrition from cheese, but, you know, get your nutrition from things like meat and stuff like that, , uh, then you naturally maybe jump to those alternatives to try and get the same nutrition and it will cost, cost you a lot more money because it is an expensive thing. And the meat industry is massively subsidized. If you're used to buying meat, you're used to getting your protein cheaper. But there are so many rich sources of these nutrients that are incredibly cheap and far cheaper than things like meat and dairy. Uh, I mean, off the top of your hair, you know, you can pick up a ton of kidney beans for about 30 pounds and that'll have plenty of protein, plenty of fiber. So it seems, I think it was all marketing and the way supermarkets and vegan sections are des are designed, it makes it look expensive, I think. 

Yeah, definitely. And I think it goes back a little bit to what we were talking about last episode with, uh, replace don't remove a lot of, a lot of the time, you know, you've got a lot of people make the issue, you know, particularly when they say that they went vegan and they weren't feeling very well, where instead of, you know, making smart decisions about how to replace the things that they're removing from their plate, um, you know, they kind of forget to. But on the other side of that, a lot of people jump to replace their meat, their cheese, their with exactly the same kind of product. Um, a lot of people try and veganize their diet as much as they can, which means that they're going for alternative meats. They're going for, you know, the cheese alternatives, which are definitely in terms of the plant-based products in the supermarket. Yeah. They probably will be some of the more expensive. Um, but that said, I did have a look, um, just a, a kind of a shot between, you know, a a your ready meals for vegans and your ready meals for meat eaters. Yeah. And, um, just on Saintsbury, for example, their home brand Chili Con Carney and their, uh, home brand vegan Chili Con Carney, they're coming back at exactly the same price. Um, so I'd say another thing to factor in is that the world's changing really quickly, uh, really, really quickly. 

Yeah, definitely. And one of the things that is, one of the things that is probably going to end as well, I think in, in, in coming years is subsidization of meat and dairy industries. And while vegan food, you know, vegan junk food might not necessarily, and vegan processed food might necessarily necessarily get cheaper, you might find that the meat and the cheese starts to catch it with that in price. Yeah, that's very true. Already seeing things like lu pack butter going for six, seven pounds Yeah. A tub, uh, uh, things are getting expensive. But one thing that stays consistently cheap, especially if you do the things seasonally, is fresh, produce, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables. And if you are going to, if you're doing vegan now and you're trying to eat more vegan, one of the things that is, is good to try and do is eat 30 different types of plants each week. 

And the way to do that is to eat fresh. And that makes things very cheap and very healthy as well. So it's, it's quite easy to do. It takes a little bit of planning sometimes, but I think one of the things that can be quite useful, and I'm gonna start by talking about a cookbook, uh, it's a cook that I got in university and it say it's called Vegetarian Nostra students. Now they also do a, a cookbook called Vegan NAS for students. And I think this is a really good cookbook if you're doing something like vegan you, because not only does it give you simple recipes that are tasty and replace some of your favorite meals with vegan alternatives, it doesn't rely on expensive processed meat alternatives. And it has, has the price of every meal at the bottom of the page. Uh, this is not a paid promotion, but you have no affiliation with this, but something like that, a cookbook which breaks your meals down into how much they cost and gives you a handy, handy shopping list so you can work to a strict budget can make you realize how cheap this can actually be to do. 



Think. I think, uh, a sign there might be being a student at some point in your life might give you a hand with the knowing what to do with this as well, 

. Oh yeah, definitely. 

I had a similar book myself at uni called Vegan in Five Ingredients. Uh, and while that doesn't necessarily help you with the 30, 30 plants a week, uh, diet, it does show you how you can cook meals with, with really, really stripped back recipes. Yeah. Um, but it does also show you the cheapest way to cook is with Whole Foods, you know, to prepare things from scratch. 

Yeah, definitely 

With fresh produce is definitely the cheapest way to do things. Um, that's kind of my main first point really when it comes to advice, so to speak, to give someone in the January to do this on a budget would be cook as often as you can, prepare things as often as you can, uh, and aim to rely on ready meals. And if, you know, eating out, uh, and those processed foods as little as possible, um, you know, everything in that first aisle as you walk into the supermarket I'd say is is that you're looking at the cheapest products in the shop right 

There. Yeah, definitely. And that la that latter point of, of eating out is actually just so listeners know, is gonna be the topic of our next episode. We're gonna talk about our best places to eat out in v January, but if you are trying to do it on a budget, the best bet is to eat at home. I mean, any, any sort of eating on a budget, you know, if you're going out, you're not just paying the cost of the food, you're paying the cost of the staff and the cost of the, you know, the chef to cook it. Yeah. If you eat at home, you're talking probably at least 25% of the price. So 

I think, and I don't argue that you are, you know, less so if you are eating at a restaurant, uh, but the majority of places that you are getting these vegan processed foods nowadays, most, most of the, uh, high Street kind of fast food chains, for example, have now got vegan options. So I would say that cooking at home as well, you're much likely to eat a fresher, fuller meal. Uh, I'd say a much, much broader range of nutrients if you're cooking properly than grabbing something easy when you're out and about that will cost you a lot more money. 

Yeah, that's a good point. Cause if you, if you're out at a restaurant say, and you get a vegan burger, you're not actually testing the chef's cooking, they testing his shopping , like which, which vegan burger did he buy to to, to put on the grill? Um, unless it's something like a, you know, a homemade bean burger, which I, I think that a lot, a lot has to be said for the humble bean burger. You go through a phase where you want to eat the fake beef burgers, but then as you move towards more whole foods, you actually really enjoy a bean burger 

Healthier. It moves towards like falafel burger and then the kidney bean burgers, . 

Yeah, 

Definitely. Yeah. 

So I think that's, that's, that's a good place to start then trying to avoid eating out. Yeah. Now the, the thing is if you do, if you do get to a pointment, think, do you know what I would like to make a little bit more of an event for this and spend a little bit more, then again, you don't necessarily have to eat out. There are things, you know, there are supermarkets. Okay. We would probably say to, for the most part, steer away from Ready meals if you want to eat healthy. But there are supermarkets who do do vegan dinings for say 10 pounds, and you get a couple of mains, a couple of sides, you can get a, a drink of your choice and that can give you the feeling of, you know, you've gone out for a meal, but you're actually at home still. The food is very nice and it's sort of, because you can't always be bothered to cook, you know, so there are nights where you want something easy. And so something like that can break up the sort of the, the task of having to cook something from fresh. But I think generally speaking, if 80% at least of what you're cooking is fresh, whole food made from scratch, not only is it gonna be better for you, but it's gonna be a hell of a lot cheaper as well. 

Definitely. And I think it's a, a a akin with the kind of shopping for, you know, cooking fresh and that kind of thing. You wanna be buying those, uh, long lasting ingredients in bulk. I think that's another really good point. Uh, things like chickpeas that you could soak yourself if you buy them dry, uh, you can buy a lot of these ingredients that you are gonna be using regularly, uh, in, in much bigger quantities for normally quite a discounted price. Um, we've, especially as we've gone more whole food plant based, we've found that we are, we are buying an awful lot more things in, in bulk. Um, and they last a really, really long time and they're not costing a lot of money. Um, I think that's, that's kind of goes still back to the kind of whole food approach. I don't think we're ever gonna get away from that one. But, uh, it is, yeah, it's, this bulk buying is, is much, much easier, uh, when it's with ingredients that last a long period of time, like rice, uh, lentils, uh, dried beans, all those things are, are really cheap to get hold of, uh, and in bulk. 

Yeah. And I think the advantage of that then is it almost takes a lot of the decision making out of cooking as well, because if you've got a good stock of those long life ingredients, so like you said, they're staples, dried beans or tinned beans, dried lentils or tin lentils and so on. And then things like tin tomatoes, coconut milk. If you spend, uh, a bit on doing a big stock upon those, then when you've got the supermarket, all you have to really get is the fresh fruits and vegetables that you want to have in those meals. You've got your protein and your fiber covered by things like the, the beans and the lentils and that kind of thing. All you have to do is buy the, the fresh fruit and and veg. So you can spend maybe 20, 25 pounds a week that way. Just getting fresh fruit and veg and 

That, that's definitely how I survived uni . 

Yeah. Because 

Yeah, 

Not, yeah, it's, it's amazing how much you can get out of, back of dried lentils. For example, you can make a lentil ball in eggs, you can make a lentil cottage pie, you can make a dll, you can make a lentil nut roast. You can make so many different things. So if you, you know, on the face of it, a bag of lentils can look expensive. I'm not sure it's been so long since we bought them cuz we, we tend to buy really big bags. But let's say a sort of a 500 grand badge bag, what, what would that be? Say three or four pounds. That might seem expensive for a bag of what just looks like a grain, but that is a lot of meals for that. Yes. Yeah. A lot of, a lot of meals worth of protein as well. You know, one of the things that's touted as hard to get with veganism, , so you know, it's actually, you'd be surprised how much you can get out of that, you know, and things like, you know, 10 chickpeas, that's a curry that can do two portions or you can get so much out of these really, really simple ingredients. 

Yeah. Most of these things like the dried beans, the chickpeas, lentils, uh, chopped tomatoes, they go a long way. Um, they last a lot, you know, they'd last an awful lot of meals. Um, and I, I would say things like chili, you know, anything that you can use, use beans, rice, um, nuts and seeds, those kind of things, they just, they seem to fill you up for very, very little money. 

Yep. That, that, that's actually was was the next point I was going to go for is the fact that if you eat like this, you probably find yourself snacking less as well. And snacks are expensive. 

So I'd say fiber content's got a lot to do with that. I think if you are eating plants, you are gonna be filling yourself up a lot more. Um, that was actually another one of my points there was just to sort of stock up on fiber as much as possible. Um, most of, as I say, if you, if you're switching towards a plant-based anywhere towards whole food, plant-based diet, then your fiber intake will just naturally increase. Yeah. But high fiber foods will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Uh, and generally speaking, they're normally some of the cheaper ingredients out there. The ones that are higher in fiber cuz they tend to be plants, you know, your whole foods. Um, so fiber-rich dishes are a really easy way to fill yourself up on very little money. 

Yeah. And, and sort of like high, especially if it's high fiber of high protein as well. Yes. So true. What I think might be good then is let's say we are newcomers to eat, let's put ourselves in those shoes. Yeah. And, or let's say we are working with somebody who's a newcomer to Egan and they're saying to us, can you recommend me some meals? So what I thought might be useful to do, and sorry if I put you on the spot a little bit here. No, 

That's 

All good. A breakfast, a lunch, and a dinner. And what I'd like us to try and do is tick as many nutritional boxes as possible whilst also keeping things as low cost as possible. Okay. We could do that. 

Yeah, I think we could do that. So, so yeah, go, go, 

Go. Yeah. Well I, I think a, a good principle, uh, and I think this helps many different things, but a good way to start the day, at least for me, and I dunno if this is the same for you as well, is to have a good, healthy and high protein breakfast. Yes. So what's your go-to breakfast then? If you go in sort of low cost, high nutritional profile, what are you 

Going with? So I would also add to the protein argument, uh, that we would also need some complex carbs to get us through the day. Yeah. So a long, a long a slow release, uh, long form of energy. Uh, and I tend to go for oats as my primary source. That's every single day. 

One of the best, one of the best things to go for is 

Oats. Yeah. Uh, oats are really, really good for you. Uh, I try to stick to the least processed form of oats possible. Um, so we have porridge, oats, and roll oats in the supermarket that we kind of have been consuming without thinking for a long time. Uh, but as your stomach gets more and more used to a higher fiber diet, you might want to push towards, uh, steel cut pinhead or even oak groats. Uh, if you can stomach it, obviously at the start, that might be a little bit much for you. So it's best, best to stick with, you know, normal oats. Uh, but yeah, no, I start my day with Pinhead oats. Uh, I've normally got some cocoa powder in there for iron. Um, that's again, a good one for the brain. Uh, peanut butter, um, again, more protein, a little bit of energy in there. Yep. Um, and I try and just match that with some fresh fruit. 

Yeah. That's, that's the, yeah. Berries I think are a good one to throw in, throw in with oats. Yes. And then I like to throw in sort of chi seeds and flax seeds and that that does increase the cost. Yeah. But if you throw it in chi seeds and flax seeds, you're getting things like I import aass, uh, another nutritional, uh, things to get and oats are one of the cheapest things to buy in the supermarket. Yes, 

Definitely. 

Now the, the more sort of unprocessed you get, the more expensive they're gonna get. But there's still nothing wrong with buying those Aldi everyday essentials. No one kilogram bags of os that are probably still hovering around the, the market be being a pound. 

You know. And it's also worth mentioning the, uh, chia seeds and the flax seeds. Uh, while they might bring the price of the dish up slightly, uh, they're again, ingredients that you can buy in bulk that you are putting in a teaspoon's worth or two at a time. Um, realistically, you know, even up to a tablespoon isn't it, is not gonna add too much expense to a, to a meal. Yeah. If, especially if you're buying this in bulk. 

So we're talking oats with some form of plant milk, I'm guessing. Yeah. 

Yep. 

And then optional cha off flax seeds, maybe initially leave those out because it might, the texture and things might be a little bit strange to the first, you know, it does take away some of the creaminess that you might be used to with a portion of oats, but certainly get some, I mean, peanut butter's a great thing to put in. Uh, some, some fresh fruits and berries, some banana that's 

A cheap Yeah. If you don't like peanut butter, there's almost, there's always a almond butter as well. Um, you can find any nut butter you like really. Um, but yeah, just something to just something to add a few more calories to the, to the meal and, uh, yeah, just some more protein. 

Now the thing I'm gonna throw in as a savory option mm-hmm. something, prefer a savory breakfast. It's an absolute classic. And it's beans on toast. 

Beans on toast. You go with beans on toast. You can't get more budget than beans on toast . No, 

No, exactly. I mean, I would say scrambled tofa on toast, but then you get into the thing of, you know, if you're gonna have good scrambled tofu, you have to buy tofu company tofu. It is more expensive, it puts the price up two slices of seeded bread, you know, optional plant butter, obviously that's got fats and stuff in like that. But I, I don't think it's the worst thing to do if you, you know, if it's just for breakfast, two slices of preferably seeded bread to get the fiber and more proteins in there and either between a half or a full kind of beans. You've got your protein, you've got your fiber, it's a great way to start the day. 

Yeah, definitely. Uh, avocado toast as well. Yeah. Um, I, I don't know how expensive avocados would, would be deemed, but yeah, I think that's quite a good one as 

Well. So yeah. So budget breakfasts, you've got oats or you've got beans on toast. Yeah. And great ways to start the day . So, so what are you doing at lunch then? If you try to lunch, eat things on the budget lunch? 

So I tend to, well we tend to eat a kind of, uh, as, as I say, we're whole plant based, so we tend to eat things like quinoa, some kind of grain Yeah. Uh, with either some tofu, uh, some nor it always comes with a nice big pile of greens. I think that's a really important thing to, to get in at least through one of your meals. Just a decent, uh, I'd say at least two, a good third of the plate in, in some kind of salad at some point. Um, but yeah, normally some grains, some tofu, that's where I kind of get in some hummus. Uh, we, we do eat quite a Mediterranean diet, so that is kind of where I'm going with this. But 

Yeah, we, you literally described my lunch yesterday. Yeah. 

, but yeah, something like that normally. 

Yeah. Cuz again, quinoa is one of those things that you can buy in bulk and it Okay. The, the initial cost might be a little bit higher, but the value then from the fact that it, and I've only just really started eating quinoa, uh, when I've been trying to get more protein and never realized how much protein they've actually is. 

Yeah. So a really good source of protein. Definitely, yeah. Alongside fiber. 

Yeah. And so it's, it's not only then a cheap lunch, but it's also very filling and, uh, you can also make your own hummus if you wanna make it even cheaper, although you have to buy things like it tahini and stuff like that. But again, it's, if you buy more, then eventually works out cheaper. 

I'd say. Uh, hummus is one of those, if you could make it yourself, you can see how much more you can get for your money. Yeah. Uh, when you make it fresh and it tastes so much nicer, it's not watered down. Um, I, I, I do prefer making my own, uh, but, and again, it's initially you might have to spend a little bit more than you'd expect to, to get those ingredients into the house. Um, but when you see how far they'll go compared to constantly buying tubs of hummus or constantly, uh, you know, even like the quinoa buying small bags always, rather than buying one big bag once off, it will be a more a, a kind of bigger expense at the start, but it will pay off. 

So your your your sort of go-to then low cost, high nutritional profile lunches, something like quinoa, tofu. Yeah. Some, some form of greens. Yeah. I mean, salad is always, is always cheap. Um, if you don't want salad, you can basically, you can pick up some seasonal other greens that you can cook. Yeah. Whether it's things like kale or spinach. 

Yeah. I normally use kale and spinach. Yep. 

Yeah. I love, and, and one of the best things to do with kale is just to, is roast it in the oven with a little bit of little pinch of salt season. Yeah. 

Lovely. Yeah, definitely. Kale chips. 

My, uh, I think my go-to, if I'm looking for, again, low cost, high nutrition, high protein is a five bean chili. Now you can put that into the, into the dinner category as well. But the good thing about a five bean chili is you make a, a big one. The best thing I think for me to do is, is to use it if you've got a slow cooker, is to do it in a slow cooker. So get in there five tins of beans, tomatoes, uh, passata tomato paste or your herbs, uh, peppers, whatever veggies you want to throw in. And I think the last time we worked it out, it was probably about a pound of portion because you get, it's, it's a big dish and you get a lot of portions out of it. It's low calorie, high protein, and again, it really fills you up. And you can serve that with rice, with quinoa, with salad, you can put it on a jacket potato. It's just a really good base to have to mix with something else. It's got, it takes so many 

Boxes, such an easy one to make lots of and freeze up as well. Something that could last you a really long, long time, uh, for next no money. It's funny, as you mention a chili, I did a poll on Facebook just to sort of see what people's opinion were, uh, was sorry, on uh, whether they found vegan, some expensive. And someone came back to me and said that for 10 pounds they managed to get 12 meals from a chili. Yeah. Uh, so they make their own chili where they've got rice, beans, veggies, and then the simple seasonings and that they're saying that they're managing to get 12 meals, uh, for just 10 pounds there. Um, and I can believe that it's, you know, most of those ingredients are again, especially bought in bulk, really, really cheap. Yeah. 

The other thing as well, I just realized, but talk us talking about things that are very easy to make as well. Yeah, 

Yeah. Very simple to cook. Uh, you can kind of just leave them, like you say in the, in the slow cooker, you just kind of put most of the ingredients in and, and for the most part walk away and let it do its thing. It's, yeah. Yeah. So a good one for people without, uh, you know, with a low budget and, and not much time. That's a good one. 

So it's, it's, it's three o'clock you've had your lunch Yeah. Dinners at say seven. You, you want a, you want a snack, you're getting a little bit package . Yeah. Now in the past you might have gone get, get a bag of crisp sauce, some chocolate. That's, I mean, crisps are still cheaper chocolate. That's one thing you might find is more expensive, particularly if you're trying to get to those milky chocolates that you are used to eating. So how do you get a snack that's gonna satisfy you? There's also gonna be healthy and it's not gonna be a lot of money for the, for those afternoon dips in blood sugar. 

So this is where I'm one of those annoying people that actually quite enjoys fruit. I mean, 

. Yeah. Same. 

So when it comes to, to the afternoon, I would, I would you normally find me with some cashew nuts or, you know, just some nuts and seeds and then some, some fresh fruit. Uh, yeah. That, that's kind of what tide me through. I tend to find around four or five o'clock when that energy slumps. I want something just with a little bit of natural sugar to bring my energy levels back up a little bit. Um, so yeah, it does tend to be nuts, seeds and, and fruit for me at that point in the day. 

And I think one of the best things to do as well with that, particularly if you've got nuts and uh, dried fruit, is to mix it with something like a, a coconut yogurt. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you can get a flavor with one if you like, but if you want to try and avoid some of those processed sugars, just a, uh, something like, uh, cocoa Cola, uh, coconut yogurt, which has got plenty of stuff in that's good for you. You can mix that with, with your fruit, your Nazi seeds or with some granola you've got a high protein snack. 

Yeah, definitely. Um, and also don't forget things like, uh, whole meal, uh, pitter breads with hummus. Yeah. Again, if you're, especially if you're making any of this yourself, that's a really, really cheap way to eat. Um, and if anyone's listening to that thinking, I'm never gonna be able to make pitter breads myself, well that might be one of the easiest of the breads to try and attempt. Yeah. In terms of making it cheap. You can talk to flour water and if you can be bothered with some yeast, then go for it. But you can, you can just use those ingredients. Yeah. 

The thing with wrap as well, flatbreads it is just flour water and just whack it in a pan. Yeah. And just, and eat, 

Roll it to the right size and yeah. It's, it is doable. And hummus is again, something you can make, uh, from her, you know, from scratch at home quite easily. So that, that's quite a cheap snack. Uh, I think that I, I've, I've had plenty of hummus and pit in my life as a snack, that's for sure. Yeah. 

, I mean, it's, it's a, it's a vegan staple, isn't it? Hummus, yeah. 

Yeah. Are you even vegan if you don't like hummus commerce? I think that's the thing, isn't 

It? Yeah. Hummus and olives, the two 

So consulted everyone then  

. So what about, what about dinner time, then? 

Dinner? So we tend to eat quite big dinners, uh, which I think if I was to advise someone, I'd normally say, you should eat a nice big lunch and a nice big breakfast and perhaps leave your stomach alone in the evening. But I do tend to eat quite big, uh, dinners where I have sort of curries with rice. Um, yeah. I'm more likely to have my chili with rice at dinner. Um, pasta dishes, uh, yeah, all sorts really. Um, 

I mean, pasta is again, incredibly cheap. And if you look at the ingredients in pasta, it is just flour and water. It's essentially wallpaper paste. Yes. But like 

, they're tasty. Yeah. 

But made delicious. 

Yeah. No, it's, uh, it's, it's definitely e I think it's easy enough to, to have a, a, a cheap dinner, uh, that's vegan. I, I genuinely do think a lot of these problems are coming from processed, you know, and ready mills. I already do. Yeah. Um, cuz you know, you talk about curries and you talk about chilies, they're, they're really not expensive dishes. Um, and when you think about things like a curry or, or even, to be honest with you, even things like a pizza, some of these dishes that we have in this country that we've kind of either invented or, or taken from other countries, that they tend to be how a lot of the poorest people in those countries would eat. Yeah. Um, like a, a Spanish paella for example, is, is designed to be really easy to make cheap. Um, so there are lots of things you can do. Uh, I, I'd say if you look to other cuisines, um, there are lots of dinners, lots loads of, loads of loads of dinners that can kind of use your leftovers and, and don't tend to break the bank too much. 

Yeah. Yeah. And, and I think that that's sort of latter point of some of the cheapest dishes in, in other cultures as well, is a good way to keep things cheap is to look at those recipes, you know, look at what they, we talked about this in the last episode. Look at what they use as their protein source in that dish. And that's because, you know, usually if you google vegan curry, for example, vegan curry recipe, it's not gonna be a recipe that uses a particular brand of processed fake meat. It's always gonna be something like a chickpea curry or a butter bean curry or a lentil curry. I think one of our favorite dinners is, um, you know, the, the Bosch, um, guys who have many cookbooks now they've got a lentil doll. 

Yeah. That's one of ours too. 

It's the one it's so cheap to make, but it's, it really is delicious. And again, I think the recipe calls for you to cook in, in a pan, but we just put it in the slow cooker again and let's leave it for the day. 

Yeah. It's a really simple one to follow as well. It is, um, I find a lot of Bosch's recipes helped me initially go vegan. Um, and again, not to, not to be promoting anyone, but they do have a new cookbook out, uh, about vegan on a budget. Yeah. Um, so if you did want to find some recipes, there was plenty of stuff out there. Um, I found that really helpful at uni. 

Yeah, definitely. And I think, yeah, you know, even pasta, you know, you can just have pasta with a little bit of olive oil and some and some roasted vegetables mm-hmm. and just tossed it in the roasted vegetables. Again, healthy, probably low, lower calorie than, than it's sort of a meat option. And cheap, 

I'd say as well, don't get carried away with worrying about your protein source coming from something that resembles meat. Even if you're using things like tofu or Tempe. Um, I think when you, if you are tracking your diet or if you go vegan and have a little look one day at, at how you've eaten for that day, I think you'd be surprised to learn how much protein is in, like you said in quinoa for example. All plants are normally contain some amount of protein. I do think if you were to have a day where you'd assume you'd eaten quite little protein but you'd eaten lots of plants, I think you can surprise yourself with how much is in there. So another thing I'd kind of think to sort of focus on if you're trying to be on a budget here is, uh, not to be overly worrying about having something on your plate that resembles the kind of fake meat. Cuz I do think tofus tempes, although they're really nutritious, they are kind of where things get quite expensive. Yeah. Um, like I think a block of tofu is, is it two 50? And that can sometimes be used for, for one or two meals. Yeah. So that can get quite pricey. 

Now the caveats that is obviously it, it's worth trying to get some form of soy into it diet Yes. Because of the massive benefits of it. But there are much cheaper ways of doing it. And the, the, the first store that comes to mind, although there's probably many others that do this, is Holland and Barrett, they sell bags of dehydrated soya protein and soy kills Yes. That you just hydrate and stir into your recipe of choice. Yeah. 

You can use it just like a mince, right. 

Yeah. And that's just pure soy protein. Yeah. And it's, it's, it's really, I mean I think when we started using it, we were also, I think we were still veggie at the time. What, because we, we, you know, we, we eaten a lot of corn and so bags of corn pieces and we worked out that for the price of one bag of corn pieces, we were getting four times the amount of meals Oh wow. Have this, this bag of soy protein and it's, it's really simple. What you do is you just stick it in in hot water for five minutes to hydrate it and stir it into your recipe and there you go. You've got a nice source of protein there. 

Yeah. See there are, there are, I think there's so many new products out there as well. I think this is again, where even if it does just come down to being eat able to eat out in restaurants, there's so many new options that it's gonna get cheaper. Um, whether you're eating processed or unprocessed. It, it's definitely as, as more and more things become available, it's definitely getting cheaper. 

So I think then the, the best thing to sort of the best final thing to talk about then. Yep. If you're trying to do a vegan on a budget, one of the most important things to try and make sure you don't have to do is keep going to the shops every now and then, you know, regularly to get, pick up this, pick up that that can get expensive. You wanna be in a situation where you've got, for the most part the ingredients in to basically just throw something together for dinner that you know is gonna be healthy and is not gonna break the bank. So what are the staples for your li uh, at the very least your food cupboard, but also things that you would have in the fridge at all times so you can always pull together something that's cheap and nutritious. 

Yeah. So again, a good range of beans, uh, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, uh, I've always got some lentils. I've got some quinoa, uh, in case you wanna give, give some of those, uh, whole whole whole meal breads that go yourself and always have some whole wheat flour. Yeah. Um, I've got the biggest bag of rice you've ever seen that's always ready to go in, in any recipe. 

You go to the, um, the world food section, the supermarket, we have the giant 10 kilo 

Gum bags of rice. The bigger, the bigger you can go, just think one off purchase, I'll, I'll have that for a long period of time. Yeah. Um, but yeah, pasts rices, um, and don't forget as well, even your fruit and veg, if there's anything that you don't think you're necessarily gonna get through, you might lose some of the freshness, but to freeze it, you can make it last a lot longer. 

Yeah. Always have frozen ve cuz you can just throw it into a sauce or into whatever you're making. Yeah. 

Um, but then yeah, good nuts and seeds. I've always got some cashews, cheer flax seeds. Um, this does really come down to planning I'd say, uh, as well. I think if you, if you're planning your meals out and you know what you need, then it's nice and easy to sort of shop in advance. But definitely I'd say it gets expensive when you've not planned and you are, you are running back to the shops every five minutes to, to pick up things you've not prepared for. Yeah. Um, cuz something else will catch your eye while you're there. I think it's more expensive again, 

. Yeah. I mean, I mean there's other little things I, we talked about the big bags of ice, which like I say usually find in the world food section of the supermarket. Yeah. You often also find the cheapest tins of chickpeas and tomatoes in the world food section as well. Yes. 

Yeah. Some people are, are lucky enough to live near, uh, Asian supermarkets as well, um, be out in the sticks out here. So not pos not possible for me, but they are really, really cheap. Um, yeah, 

We were, we went into one a couple of hours ago. 

Oh really? Oh, you are lucky. . But they do have lots of good options and they, they tend to be quite affordable. Uh, good, good place to go and get some soy products as well that aren't, uh, too expensive. Yeah, 

Yeah. Great. So then I think we've, we've busted the myth then, you know, veganism. Yeah, I think so. It doesn't have to be expensive. It can be, it can be very expensive, but if you plan and you think about what you want to eat and I think a good way, a good policy to have is to put your health at the front and center of everything you're gonna make because the healthiest meals are the cheapest. Yeah. Generally 

Speaking. Yeah. This is, does this health and budget actually go hand in hand here? Which yeah, I think we've all kind of said for a long period of time just out of habit that the healthy foods are too expensive or, you know, but I think when we think about it, you know, you rice, your beans, all these, all these kind of whole foods, you every fruit, fruits and vegetables, they're also cheap and they're always also really, really good for you. So yeah. Think think with the budget, but also think for your health. 

Yeah. And, and and and again, just the final stress. If shop seasonal, it's gonna make a lot cheaper. If you're trying to buy strawberries in January, yes. They're gonna be expensive cuz they've had to come from Peru or somewhere like that. 

So Yes, no, very true. Although you are almost, uh, factoring in the, uh, the expense of the delivery and uh, transporting it across the world because, uh, it's not in season at the moment, that kind of thing. 

Although, one thing that that baffled me, sorry, this is just a random tangent at the end. , uh, and I was in a supermarket. We used to live in Liverpool. I was in the supermarket there and I wanted to buy some asparagus. And the asparagus was grown in Peru and it made no sense because 10 miles up the coast for be they'd grow asparagus. 

Yeah. This is similar over here as well. So we are, there's, there's, uh, lots grown in nor hook, uh, but the supermarkets are filled with asparagus from absolutely miles away. Uh, yeah. We've experienced that ourselves. It's strange. Maybe it's just asparagus. 

, yeah. Maybe it doesn't make it outta the farmer's markets. No, 

No. 

Okay. Well I think, I think we're doing a pretty good job. What I would say is, is if, if anyone's listening to this and they would like some more advice, we're happy to give that, you know, you can email us. It's two vegan scientists gmail.com. Where else can they find us? Some. 

Uh, so just as a heads up, that email address might change by next episode as we're all still setting ourselves up, but they can also find us, uh, I'm on Instagram as@goplantbased.me and you're welcome to send me an email that's sam@goplantbased.me. 

Yep. And uh, I'm also on Instagram as well. It's at Samuel Plant. Uh, you can DM me on there. I'm also on, on TikTok as well. That's Samuel Plant. We actually have our own TikTok on Instagram now as well, I believe. 

Uh, yes. So, uh, Instagram is at two vegan scientists where you're more than welcome to get a touch, a hold of us, either of us on there. Uh, and we're on TikTok again. Uh, that's at two Vegan Scientists. 

Great. So we hope you've enjoyed this episode. We hope you've, we've helped you reduce your food bill and we hope that you're enjoying vegan, you're getting the best you can from it. Like I said earlier, next week we're gonna talk to some about the best places to eat out if you're doing vegan. There's lots of options out there. Lots of really exciting options. Yeah, definitely. Uh, until next time, if you enjoy the episode, make sure you subscribe, throw a rating down. Thanks for listening to us both waffling about food and we'll speak to you very soon. 

Thank you very much. Bye.

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