Being a Vegan can be difficult, especially at University. You can spend many lunchtimes at the local supermarket pawing through the sandwiches on display, just to conclude that your only option is a plain salad at an extortionate price.
However, this does not always need not be the case! In fact, Veganism can be one of the cheapest diets and quickest to prepare. Here are my top tips for being ‘A super sexy Vegan on a shoe string budget’…
1. Get cooking and feed the five hundred
Cooking your own meals will obviously save you a fortune, vegan or not. It allows you to dish up your own portion sizes, have full ownership of the ingredients in your meal, and create an entire week’s worth of meals in under an hour. By following bulk recipes that produce portions for four or more you can save yourself tonnes of stress. You can also save yourself hours during the week by simply dedicating one hour of your time at the weekend to a single bulk recipe. My “go to” bulk recipes include curries, pasta sauces and chillies as they can easily be frozen or stored in the fridge.
2. Get to love your grains
Grains and pulses, including chickpeas, rice and lentils, are some of the cheapest ingredients costing on average 30p a can (even less if you buy them dry). They are a great staple in any vegan meal as they provide plenty of carbohydrates to keep you full and fuelled. By using these as the core of your recipes, instead of expensive protein alternatives such as Soya and Quorn, you could be saving around £5 a week. These savings add up, accumulating to £260 a year, enough for a weekend away!
3. Become a late-night shopper
At around 8 o’clock in the evening most supermarkets begin to reduce food that is close to its expiration date, making it the perfect time to grab some bargains! Fruit and vegetables can easily be frozen and used to make smoothies. A loaf of bread, which I’ve once picked up for 3p, can be frozen and kept in your freezer for up to 6 months.
4. Use a cookbook
Finding recipes can be time consuming, therefore I recommend having a cook book on hand, as this prevents you from ending up watching cat videos on YouTube when you were meant to be searching for vegan recipes online. My favourite vegan cookbooks include ‘Keep it Vegan’ by Aine Carlin and ‘15 minute vegan’ by Katy Beskow. However, if you do find yourself drawn to the internet and its vast array of free recipes, then I recommend using Pinterest to create a board of all your favourite recipes, so you can access them quickly and without any detours.
5. Socialise and make veganism fun
You’ve heard the saying ‘we’re better together’ so why not make it the case for veganism. Creating a pot luck group or having monthly vegan meet-ups, where you share or split the cooking responsibilities are a great way to discover vegan recipes and share tips. It will also allow you to meet new people who you share an interest with and make being a vegan something you can enjoy, something fun, something social and something sexy. Even on a shoestring budget.