Hey, vegetarians! How are you doing in the veggie club? So, over the weekend, I received a text from Amie. Amie is a cousin. Once upon a time, she could pull down mountains just to prove that veggies were living a boring life. Along the way, she met a guy and she became a die-hard vegetarian, and the rest is history.😁
Here is her text:
“Hey, things are going good btw Josh and I. Plus I moved in already. Sadly, Josh lost his job and it’s been a lil rough. Buying all those whole foods is telling on our income😭. I love the veggie lifestyle but can you help with some tips on how to be a vegetarian on a budget. Sad Veggie girl💔
Perhaps, you are like Amie too, I have gathered a few tips that will help you be a vegetarian on a budget. Plus, Amie is doing fine now!
9 ways to be a vegetarian on a budget
No jokes here but living the vegetarian lifestyle can be cheap, because you cut out a lot of meat. That cuts your budget down to about 50%.
Here are ways to be a vegetarian on a budget:
Buy Groceries at Cheaper market
Who doesn’t like to get things at cheap stores? Luck is on you today, this cheatsheet provides a list of some of the cheapest stores in the United States.
Buy in bulk
Chickpeas, black beans, soy milk, whatever you are getting, you will save yourself a lot if you buy in bulk. If for anything at all, you could also check out these 6 cans of favorite black beans I asked Amie to get.
This one is like an evergreen tip no one is willing to tell you but since I care, I will divulge without thinking twice. You can get your veggies at an extremely cheaper rate in Asian stores as compared to regular supermarkets.
Make Your peanut butter
Almond butter is great but it will freeze the smile off your face when you have to pay. Save yourself some dollar notes by making your peanut butter.
However, you need a food processor. Own one already? Then nothing is stopping you from making your peanut butter. Just buy the nuts, add some maple syrup, water and you have just made some fine peanut butter. Much healthier than the store-bought own if you ask me.
Now, this was exactly where almost all of Amie’s money was going into. Shopping for whole foods can be a beautiful experience but every day isn’t Christmas.
Grow your veggie herbs
This one is my favorite; firstly it saves you hundreds of dollars. Then it also saves you time since you don’t have to do shopping for these little items especially if you buy in bulk.
Pasley, rosemary, thyme, basil, and cilantro amongst others are easy and beautiful to grow.
Apart from all these, nothing beats adding some plants and colors to your life, yummy😍.
Make the ones you can rather than buy
Of course, it will not be convenient all the time to make your almond butter or cook beans and grains from dried version rather than cans but if you’ve got a few minutes to spare, please imagine this:
Cool Sunday morning, warm weather, music playing, and cooking week’s food with your partner and if you’ve got kids, imagine their laughter and the whole house smelling of veggies, awww, therapeutic!
Although it takes time, it saves you money and you could create beautiful memories. I hope you decide to do this often.
If someone ever told you this is a bad idea, then they probably made too much to last them a year rather than a week😁.
Okay, on a more serious note, if you want to make extra then you have to plan well, so you could make extra for 3 days or a week. Just make sure you don’t make too much.
Once this is out of the way, then you can start reaping the benefits like taking them to work rather than buying lunch or breakfast at work.
Herbs like tofu or beans sprout go bad quickly, so you are better off making use of them and keeping the leftovers in a freezer
Leave out some recipes or skip them
It’s fun to come across a good recipe, I understand the excitement and looking forward to the outcome of your meal but some recipes call for a lot of expensive ingredients, and boom, a whole year’s salary is gone! 😉
Sometimes, it’s okay to leave out some recipes especially when it comes to garnishing and spicing.
2 budget vegetarian recipes to try
Have fun and enjoy a good meal at a low cost with these mouth-watering vegetarian recipes
Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Bake
This pasta bake is a comforting food at its best. It’s creamy, cheesy, and tasty. You will definitely like that feeling of breaking into the crunchy topping and finding that lovely, creamy, cheesy pasta. Oh, sweet goodness!
Cheesy broccoli pasta bake
- 280 Gms Pasta (penne)
- 2 Cup Broccoli florets
- 25 Gms Butter
- 250 Gms Plain flour
- 2 Cup Milk
- 1 Tbsp Wholegrain mustard
- 1 Tbsp 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
- 200 Gms Cheddar cheese
- 1 Cup Parmesan cheese
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the chopped onion and cook over low heat until the onions become soft.
- Add the flour to the onion and stir until you have a smooth paste.
- Pour in the milk slowly with a whisk.
- Once you have a smooth sauce, add mustard, garlic, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Allow to bubble for a minute or two.
- Take the sauce off the heat and add the cheddar and parmesan. Set the sauce aside until you're ready to add it to the pasta
- Cook the pasta for about 5 minutes , then drop the broccoli into the pasta and cook for about 5 minutes. Then drain the pasta and broccoli and tip it into a large casserole dish.
- Bake until the pasta is warmed through and the top is golden brown. Your cheesy broccoli pasta bake is ready.
Red Lentil, Chickpea & Chilli soup
Feel free to cozy up with this lovely warming soup. You can enjoy this soup for lunch or dinner. Serve with nice crusty bread and yoghurts
Red lentil, chickpea & chili Soup
- 2 Tbs Cumin seeds
- 1 Tbs Olive oil
- 2 Cup Chilli flakes
- 1 1 Red onion
- 140 Gms Red spit lentils
- 850 Ml Water or vegetable stock
- 200 Gms Can tomatoes
- 200 Gms Chick peas
- 1 Tbs Coriander, roughly chopped (save a few leaves, to serve)
- Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry 2 tsp cumin seeds and a large pinch of chili flakes for 1 minute.
- Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 chopped red onion. Allow to cook for 5 mins.
- Stir in 140g red split lentils, 850ml vegetable stock or water and a 400g can of tomatoes, then bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have softened.
- Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until it is a rough purée. Pour back into the pan, and add 200g drained and rinsed chickpeas.
- Heat gently, season well, and stir in a small bunch of chopped coriander, reserving a few leaves to serve.
- Serve with 4 tbsp 0% greek yoghurt and coriander leaves.
Health benefits of being a vegetarian
Whether you are a vegetarian due to religion or health issues or simply by choice, you should know that being a vegetarian comes with some benefits. Here are some:
Good for heart health
If you want the heart-protective benefits of the diet, then you should eat a lot of legumes, whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits.
Prevents Type 2 diabetes
Depending on your choice, following low-glycemic foods helps to keep your blood sugar steady, foods like grains, legumes, and nuts.
Studies have shown that vegetarians, particularly vegans, have lower blood pressures than their meat-eating counterparts.