Raise your hand if you want to save money on vegan groceries! *this girl does* If you threw your hand up, this post is for you! This post is for all the vegans in the room who want to save money on their grocerieis even when it feels like vegan foods are the most expensive in the store. All the mama’s who are on a budget while trying to raise vegan kids. This post is for any vegan on a budget, new or experienced.
If you are trying to eat more plant based goods and want to save some money, this post is for you! Let’s start talking about how to save money on your grocery bill. You ready?!
When it comes to buying groceries on a plant-based vegan diet, you are (hopefully) buying a lot of produce. Or should be. But being honest, as a working mom with toddlers in school and with sitters, packaged foods absolutely come in handy!
One of the most common reasons people say they can’t go plant-based or vegan is the cost.
“Produce is way more expensive than other food items like meat and dairy!”
This is not a totally false statement BUT it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. As a vegan on a budget, I am here to help you figure out ways to cut back and save some money!
Learning how to shop and save money on your groceries on a plant-based vegan diet is so important especially if you don’t have an unlimited amount of money…
Our family of four has a budget of $400/mo at the time being and that includes everything we need to eat for the month. As far as shopping, we break it down to $100 a week and that really seems to work for our family.
READ: What Our Vegan Family Eats in a Day
I will say though we would NOT be able to stick with that budget if we did not shop sales, use the occasional coupon, and use rebate apps. It just wouldn’t be possible but as a family, we do like to buy healthier foods if possible.
I’m excited to talk about the topic of being “vegan on a budget” because after a few years I feel like I have finally found the best ways to save money on groceries as a vegan! * woot woot * If you want to spend less on your dairy-free, animal-free groceries, keep reading.
6 Tips To Save Money On Vegan Groceries
Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
1. Shop what is on sale
This is the most obvious tip if you are wanting to save money on vegan groceries but it’s often ignored. If you a vegan on a budget and want to save money, a great place to start is to shop what’s on sale.
As you plan out your week consider what is on sale (or not on sale) to decide where you want to spend your money.
You will find that your local grocery store will cycle through sales and deals, falling into a pattern that you can rely on.
Example: Our family loves avocado but we know that at our local grocery store they will go on sale at least once a month. On the off weeks where they are full price, we don’t buy them. And when they ARE on sale, we typically buy 4-6 of them.
If you are really focusing on saving money on your grocery hauls, this is a great place to start.
TIP: Don’t forget to bring your own product bags to the store! Our first introduction to produce bags were from Mighty Fix and they are great. We also use the cotton ones from IKEA which are AMAZING.
Click to try the MightyFix for only $3 and get 5 produce bags for your first month with promo code PRODUCEBAGS3
2. Eat in season
Depending on where you live, it can be difficult to eat in season. In Michigan where we are, winters can be hard and food can get boring when you’re eating in season.
That said, you will also find in season fruits from other parts of the country become cheaper near you!
If you want to shop what is in season, you can do a quick Pinterest search for what’s in season and shop based on that. To help you out, here are a few graphics I find helpful:
Eating in season also means growing what you can! If you can grow it, you can eat it. Summers can often be a less expensive grocery time for us which is awesome and something we look forward to every year.
(Anyone else SUPER ready for their next vegetable garden? I am seriously itching to get started. Is it Spring yet? If you want to see our previous years gardens, check this out!)
3. Use rebate apps
If you want to save money on vegan groceries or non-vegan groceries, rebate apps are the place to start! You have probably heard about rebate apps like Rakuten (formally Ebates) where you get cashback at your favorite stores (Target, Old Navy, Disney and more!) but did you know there are many that focus on grocery deals?!
We use a few apps regularly while grocery shopping.
These apps all come in handy at different times but they are all great!
If I were to encourage you to start with just one, I would recommend Fetch. This app is newer to me but we have quickly accumulated thousands of points.
What I love about the Fetch app is that you don’t need to clip any deals inside the app AND you get points even if you have NO deals! Uploading ANY receipt that contain no other deals give you 25 points. This adds up quickly!
Fetch also gives a referral bonus to both the one who is referred and the one who refers! If you aren’t on this app yet, you can get a bonus $2 by using my code (7PFQQ) at sign up.
The photo above shows the Ibotta app. We have been finding MANY more vegan options on there lately like Banza and Enjoy Life so I definitely would encourage you to check out this app too!
4. Buy only what you need
Raise your hand if you have ever thrown away moldy fruit, stale bread, or expired food. #notalone
Over the years we have found a good balance of what we eat and how much of it we can practically go through.
The most challenging thing has been not succumbing to the sales. If something is 4 for $5 but we’ll only be able to eat 2 of them (and they are perishable) we will only buy 2 of them. Not worth the savings if they end up molding or going stale before we get a chance to eat them.
Things that I WOULD buy more of during a sale is things you can freeze. Items in this category would be butter alternatives (we LOVE Earth Balance and when we see a great deal, we’ll buy a few to freeze) and breads.
This is honestly one of the best tips to follow if you are learning to how to save money on your grocery bill. Buy what you need and BAM. Your grocery bill is lower.
5. Use coupons if you have them
Coupons for vegan brands or produce can be hard to come by unless your local store offers them. We shop at Meijer and they send out custom coupons every few months and they include items we purchase frequently. Some are a percentage off, others are dollar amounts. Our coupons are typically for avocado, Earth Balance butter, tofu, bananas, and Hellmann’s Vegan Mayonnaise.
Other ways to get coupons is to visit your favorite vegan brands websites and looking to see if they offer coupons. If they don’t, I have found that emailing them to let them know about your love for them can often lead to coupons being emailed or mailed over.
Don’t forget the good ole coupons that come in the mail – I bet you will see some packaged items you like in there! With vegan foods becoming more of a thing, you can find brands like So Delicious or SILK with the rest of the coupons. Worth taking a look!
6. Make what you can from scratch
This tip is definitely not for everyone and is one that you should weigh the pros and cons for.
If you have the time to make some things for scratch, go for it!
If not, that’s totally okay too.
We don’t make much of anything from scratch (yet) but one we did start doing is non-dairy milk! It’s incredibly simple and quick to make.
Plus, it’s not filled with the other stuff that the store bought kinds have.
Other things you can make from scratch easily are bread, which is on our to-make list, granola, and even yogurt.
More from Realistic Plant-Based Mama:
6 Foods to Help You Transition to a Plant-Based Diet
5 Foods To Help Your Kids Go Plant-Based
Minimalist Inspired Kitchen Appliances