Need to be rich to be vegan?

Nope.  Good news is upon you, because I’ve discovered that it isn’t so expensive.


Plants.... It's what's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I was recently asked on Twitter to do a blog post on this topic, with a college age budget of $40-50.  I went to my current vegan grocery list and figured the bill to be $74.05 on food, alone.  That’s really expensive for me, and I’m sure for every other college student.  I found that I wasn’t planning my meals ahead of time, so I’d buy more stuff than I needed and it would spoil in a few days. Spoiled vegetables smell almost as bad as vegan farts do!

I referred to my food color wheel to determine how to shave money off of my weekly bill.  What can I cut out?  What foods am I overnourished on?  What is the cheapest way to get the most nutrients possible?

My food wheel is practically a Picasso. Click to make larger.

I only purchase fruits and vegetables I find essential in my vegan diet.  Some foods pack better nutrition than other foods!  So, you want to get the best BANG for your BUCK.

Below, I will break them down into groups based on their color on My Food Color Wheel.

Buy sporadicly:

- Extra virgin olive oil (for salads), $5

- Light virgin olive oil (for cooking because it can tolerate higher temps), $4

Buy monthly:

- Qunioa,  $10.00

- Spices (rosemary, coarse pepper, cinammon, cumin, himalayan course sea salt, basil, fennel, cayenne pepper, turmeric), $5.00

- Walnuts, $5.00

- Almond Butter, $3.83

*All of the monthly items can be bought in the bulk foods section of your local HEB or Whole Foods Store.  I hear Trader Joe’s and other stores have bulk foods sections also!

* If quinoa is too expensive for your budget, try couscous.  It is a cheaper grain but still offers a great nutritional profile. It is also found in the bulk foods section!

Buy twice monthly:

- Garlic, $0.50

- Non-stick canola oil spray, $1.46

Buy weekly:

Green (6 items)

- Kale, $0.97/bunch, 3 times a week = $2.91

- Broccoli, $1.68 each, almost twice weekly = $2.95

-  Cucumber, $0.50 each.

- Avocado, $0.50 each.

- Pears, $1.75

- Bell Pepper, $0.79 each … though sometimes on sale for $0.50.

White (3 items)

- Mushrooms, $3.25, almost twice weekly = $5.00

- Onion, $0.70

- Banana, $1.30

Red (2 items)

- Dried Cranberries, $2.50

- Tomatoes, $1.05

Yellow/Orange (3 items)

- Navel Oranges, $1.67 (for 10 of them on sale!!!)

- Butternut squash, $2.50

- Sweet Potatoes, $2.34

Blue/Purple (2 items)

- Frozen blackberries, $2.50 each, twice weekly = $5.00

- Whole Wheat Fig Bars (10) from the bulk foods section, $3.28

*Ever so often, I will splurge on a bag of fresh purple grapes!  YUM.  That will add about $5 to your total.


- Can of garbanzo beans, $0.63 each, 7 cans in one week = $4.41

- Whole grain bread from the bakery, $2.34

Curious why I went vegan? Read my post about it HERE.

Not factoring in the “Buy Sporadicly” group….

that brings our average weekly total to


DISCLAIMER: This post is meant for people who want an idea of what a complete plant based diet costs.  I would never expect a meat-eater to go straight into a vegan diet.  I advise a gradual process – pescatarian –> vegetarian –> and then vegan.   Your digestive system and your mentality must have to time to adjust to it.  The food is GREAT.  But you need to train your taste buds over time.

As a former big time meat eater, IT CAN BE DONE!


About these ads