Changing your diet is a daunting task. Often, you face a lot of unknowns. Are you going to be satisfied? Will it improve your health? Can you save money going vegetarian?
However, like any food spending, you need to plan if you want to reap the financial benefits. Plus, you need to figure out which staples not only meet your new dietary preferences but also save you money at the checkout counter.
Be Smart About Staples
Staple foods make up the bulk of your diet. When you become a vegetarian, usually rice and grains play a big part in your meals.
When you shop for these staples, choose dried versions over canned. Uncooked white rice cost around $0.69 per pound in March 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, making it incredibly affordable. Dried beans were only $1.31 per pound on average, giving you a good source of fiber and protein.
White potatoes are also really inexpensive, coming in around $0.72 per pound. Pasta can also stretch your food budget with its $1.19 per pound price.
Aside from potatoes, the other staples have very long shelf lives. This means you can buy in bulk or take advantage of sales, helping you save even more money.
Vegetarians often sing the praises of buying seasonal food. Not only is it usually at its peak freshness, but it’s a cheaper way to shop too.
When a fruit or vegetable is in season, it’s usually readily available. And, when stores have sufficient stocks, they generally charge a lower price.
To make this work, you’ll need to adjust your menu seasonally. Discover which options are plentiful, then plan your meals around those foods.
If you want even more savings, see if there’s a local farmers market. Sometimes, they’ll cut you a deal if you buy large quantities or if you shop towards the end of the day. Plus, farmers markets are brimming with seasonal food, and you may even be able to find organic options cheaper than at the grocery store.
Supplement with Frozen
Frozen fruits and vegetables retain the majority of their traditional value. They are also easy to store over the long-term.
If you want to be a savvy shopper, look for sales and coupons that can help you stock up on frozen options. Generally, they keep for an incredibly long time, suggesting they are properly stored, so you can definitely save a few dollars.
By following the tips above, you can save money while going vegetarian. Just make sure to invest in some quality spices to help you vary up the flavor profiles. That way you can sustain your vegetarian lifestyle without neglecting your palate.
Looking for more tips about maintaining a vegetarian diet? Here are a few articles to get you started: