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Budget-Friendly Ways to Adopt a Plant-Based Diet

Adopting a plant-based diet is beneficial in many ways, both to you and the environment, but it can be difficult to know how to get started. Eating fresh fruits and veggies every day can be expensive if you aren’t used to shopping for those specific items, and meal planning can be challenging, especially if you have picky eaters in the house. In most cases, however, the pros far outweigh the cons, and there are some easy ways to make lifestyle changes that won’t break your budget.

Photo by JillWellington

One of the keys to adapting to a plant-based diet is to be prepared. Arm yourself with plenty of meal ideas and keep an open mind; don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things or different cooking methods. Utilize online resources that can help you find out more about the foods you’re eating, and how to uncover deals and coupons.

Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Consider the details

While there are a ton of fruits and vegetables to choose from, you may feel hampered by your inability to use meat or fish when you cook. A good way around this is to try new methods, such as using a slow cooker or pressure cooker. There are so many great recipes online that utilize these tools, and you don’t have to spend a ton of money on them. Look to online retailers that offer ways to save. Many of these stores provide coupon codes, online deals, and discounts that will help you stay within your budget.

Supplement

There are many easy ways to supplement your plant-based diet with meatless proteins and dairy alternatives, and these will help make the transition a little easier. Beans, rice, quinoa, nuts, and tofu are great ways to add to your meal plan without adding to the grocery bill. Beans and rice are very versatile and you can make a large amount pretty inexpensively; think about which spices and flavors you can add to make sure you have a little variety.

Grow a garden

Sustainable living is something that has been on many people’s minds recently, especially as global warming becomes more of a threat. One of the easiest, most cost-effective ways you can help the environment is to grow your own veggies. Not only does it eliminate the carbon emissions from the vehicles needed to transport fresh foods from farm to market to table, it will help you maintain a healthy diet because you’ll have the items within reach. If you don’t have much of a yard in which to garden, talk to your neighbors about creating a community project that everyone can benefit from.

Plan ahead

One of the main reasons many of us eat fast food and other unhealthy items is time, or lack of it. When you have a busy schedule, it’s not always easy to put everything on hold for an hour and cook a meal, but shelling out money for pizza and tacos a few nights a week can get very costly. If you plan ahead, however, you can ensure that there’s always a healthy meal waiting for you. Shop mindfully and buy all the ingredients you need for each dish; utilize a slow cooker on the busiest days so the food will be ready by the time you get home. You can even do some meal prep for the week so you’ll have delicious and healthy lunches ready to go.

Taking on a plant-based diet can be challenging to say the least, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. By planning ahead as much as possible, you can ensure that your health is improved and your budget isn’t stretched. You’ll also be making a positive contribution to the environment by making sustainable choices to your diet and lifestyle.

ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER: Sheila Olson has been a personal trainer for five years. She believes the best way to achieve physical fitness and good health is to set and tackle small goals. She encourages her clients to stay positive and incorporates mindfulness and practices for reducing negative talk into her sessions. She created FitSheila.com to spread the word about her fitness philosophy.