TomorrowMakers

Before you go vegan, you have a lot to think about and consider, such as your tastes and preferences. Money, however, should not be a deciding factor.

How to go vegan without going broke

Veganism is one of those things that has many myths surrounding it. Many people think a vegan diet is not healthy; that it is for hippies, and that one needs a lot of money to go vegan. And like with every other myth, it’s important to debunk these. 

There are several health benefits of veganism that are backed by medical professionals – such as lower blood pressure, improved kidney function, reduced risk of heart disease, help with weight loss, and more. And veganism is not only for hippies – it's for anybody who wants to make a conscious decision to care better for their bodies and mother earth. 

As for veganism being an expensive lifestyle choice, it can’t be further from the truth. Your financial situation definitely shouldn’t be stopping you from taking this important decision. So here’s how you can go vegan without going broke. 

1. Learn to cook for yourself 

Going vegan can be financially sustainable only if you learn how to cook. Occasionally, you can order food from your favourite vegan cafe. But on a daily basis, the three meals you eat – plus any snacks – must be prepared by you. The great thing about typical Indian food such as roti, sabzi, daal, and rice is that it is primarily vegan. But remember to skip the ghee, paneer, and curd! So, you don’t have to learn some very complicated new recipes. Alternatively, if you have a cook, you can give them the necessary instructions. 

Related: 5 Smart tools for your kitchen that will make cooking easier 

2. Don’t compare your life with that of a food blogger

While a lot of people choose to go vegan for health purposes or to avoid animal cruelty, we can’t deny the fact that veganism is currently a trend. This means there are thousands of food bloggers out there, eating a Rs 1000 salad or stocking their fridge with organic smoothies in snazzy glass bottles that cost Rs 400 each. If you look at their Instagram feeds and try to mimic them, you won’t be able to last for more than a month without severely affecting your budget. You need to understand that a lot of the eats and drinks that food bloggers advertise are sponsored by brands; they don’t pay for it. 

3. Be aware of marketing gimmicks

The nature of our capitalistic world is that whenever companies see something becoming popular, they try to monetise that by employing smart marketing strategies. Veganism is one of those things that’s being exploited right now. So, you’ll often see expensive food items being heavily promoted, such as almond butter instead of peanut butter which is far cheaper and just as healthy. A lot of new trends such as superfoods, clean eating, and gluten-free diet are often mentioned in connection with veganism, but they are different things and you shouldn’t bother with them. 

4. Continue shopping at your usual grocery stores

It’s a popular belief that once you turn vegan, you need to shop at specific places such as vegan stores, farmers’ markets, or fancy food outlets. Ask any person who’s been vegan for a long time and they will tell you otherwise. Shopping at exotic outlets can be an occasional indulgence, but for your monthly grocery run, you can continue shopping at your usual stores. Another thing that will reduce your grocery bill when going vegan is learning how to make vegan alternatives such as vegan cheese and almond milk at home instead of buying them. 

Related: 3 Meal Planning Techniques for the modern woman

5. Eat seasonally and regionally 

A lot of vegan influencers you’ll see online are not Indian. Trying to eat what they do and the way they do will not make much sense because those things either won’t be easily accessible here, or be highly priced, or unsuitable for our climate or lifestyle. Professionals say you should eat according to where you live because that’s healthier for your body. So you should try to connect with Indians who are vegan to see how they have changed their diet. Always look to include a lot of seasonal fruits and vegetables because they are healthy, fresh, and also affordable at the right time. 

Related: Here’s how to set up a vegetable garden at home and how it can save you money?

6. Indulge in meal planning

Going vegan is a huge lifestyle change that will require some effort and planning in the beginning. After a long day at work, if you have nothing to eat or don’t have the right ingredients to make a vegan meal, you’ll find it very frustrating. So start by planning your meals in advance and going grocery shopping accordingly. This will also help you save on grocery bills since you’ll be buying only what you need.

As you can see, going vegan doesn’t have to be an expensive affair if you approach it strategically and plan wisely. Keep these tips in mind and your monthly budget should not see a significant change. So, go ahead and make this admirable lifestyle change without worrying about going broke. Want to be healthy, happy, and financially free? Here’s how

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