These Twelve Vegan Items Are A Must Have For Your Frugal Grocery Budget
Don’t let the words “organic” and “vegan” be simply expensive adjectives for items added to your family’s grocery list. Looking out for these twelve vegan grocery items, developing a go-to vegan pantry (while paying close attention to some key grocery savings tips), you will see that a plant-based, whole foods diet need not be unattainable for your family. For more information on easy savings tips while shopping for vegan grocery items, see the end of this blog post.
Here’s a list of versatile items to keep in your pantry, and also ways to turn a non-vegan recipe to vegan with a few substitutes.
Flax is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital to vegetarians and vegans alike (similar fats are found mostly in fish). Flax seeds can also be used in baking as a binder — a replacement for eggs — just combine 1 tablespoon with 2–3 tablespoons boiling water, mix, and add into the recipe per each egg required.
A quick stroll through any bulk foods section should yield quite a savings on rolled oats, steel cut oats, etc. Oatmeal is a great alternative to cereal and can be served hot or cold and sweet or savory, depending on different flavorings, fixings, and additions. Oats can also be pulsed in a food processor and used as flour to substitute or enhance cookies, cakes, and other baked goods. Read labels carefully, but some varieties are even gluten-free.
Boasting a huge dose of potassium and vitamins A, C, and E, bananas are extremely versatile as part of a vegan diet. You can use them in baking, freeze them and blend to make an ice cream-like treat, or enjoy alone as part of a portable snack. The obvious: Bananas are also inexpensive.
Peanut butter is high in protein and can create a feeling of satisfying ‘fullness’ between larger meals. Slathered between two slices of bread, spread atop celery, or whisked together in a quick Thai peanut sauce, you should always have a jar in the pantry to use in a pinch. There’s also nothing wrong with a spoonful of the stuff just because.
Coconut milk’s light, rich flavor enhances sweet and savory dishes and is especially tasty with red, green, and yellow curry pastes. Coconut milk can also be a 1:1 substitute for cow’s milk in baking.
Canned tomato products can fill your favorite crock pot chili and vegetable soups, make delicious pizza sauces, and top heaping bowls of pasta.
There are many different varieties and textures from which to choose. Tofu cubed and fried is a simple addition to stir-fries or even alone as a side dish.
The nutritional profile, with high marks in vitamins A, K, and C — along with folate, potassium, and dietary fiber, just to name a few. Carrots can be roasted whole, chopped up and added to soups, and eaten raw for a crunchy snack. They’re also on the “first foods” list if you’re interested in extending the grocery savings by making homemade purees for your baby.
A great example is frozen peas. If you seek it out — you can even find economical frozen CSA shares loaded with local organic produce in the off-season. Frozen berries can seem costly, but since they don’t spoil and can be used in smoothies, pies, and all sorts of other dishes — they’re worth a trip to the frozen section.
From adding a tangy flavor to sauces and stir-fries to thickening non-dairy milks for use in baking, apple cider vinegar (sometimes known as just “ACV”) is a powerful ingredient to add to your kitchen’s arsenal. Some swear by the purported health benefits of (unfiltered) ACV, including clearer skin, better digestion, lessened leg cramping, and more.
Raisins add extra natural zest to sweet breads, homemade bagels, trail mix, and more. Raisins can even be used in place of pricier medjool dates in no-bake energy bar recipes. Consider also serving them alone as a natural source of fuel (instead of gels, bars, etc.) for long runs or bike rides along the countryside.
Sticking to a vegan diet doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out these four simple savings tips to get the most out of your grocery budget when shopping vegan.
Avoid Products With Excess Packaging
Shop the bulk section whenever possible and consider getting your own containers. Prices of food in bins is lower on most everything — just compare packaged oats to bulk or almond butter to the kind in those gigantic tubs and you’ll see the difference.
Skip Meat and Dairy Substitutes
These items, usually found in the frozen or refrigerated sections, are highly processed and, as a result, expensive. Included in this group is anything from ground “beef” to non-dairy “cheese” to fake lunch “meat.”
Shop Farmers Markets or Get a CSA Share
You can usually get great deals on farm-to-market foods that grocery stores can’t offer due to their overhead. The benefit beyond the savings is getting produce picked often that very day.
Stock Up on Seasonal Produce
It makes perfect sense that when a fruit or vegetable is in season, its stock will be plentiful and, therefore, price will be lower than more exotic, far-travelling items like avocados or star fruits. Buy in bulk and preserve for the rest of the year by freezing (easiest), canning, pickling, or using other preservation techniques.