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Here's how to be vegan on a budget


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As a student, we know that everything comes down to money. How to manage your rent and bills, make sure you get Christmas gifts for everyone (who knew you had so many siblings?) and, of course, afford a decent grocery shop without giving up Friday nights at your local pub.

So imagine on top of that having to deal with vegan food prices. Luckily for you, we’re here to help.

Plan, plan, plan. The golden word, according to budget vegan and social media blogger Kecha Thornton: “The biggest cost-saver for me is planning. I buy my groceries weekly, and planning my menu for the week keeps me from over-buying - I also have time to shop at different stores for my products to ensure the best quality and price.”

Vegan alternatives are notoriously pricey, with cheese (a student staple) being among the worst offenders. Top vegan cheese brand, Follow Your Heart, offer vegan cheese slices that will set up back a hefty £5.29 against similar (non-vegan) products from Tesco (£1.00) and Waitrose (£2.25).

Kecha, 27, readily admits a change in the foods you eat is vital for maintaining the diet on a tight budget: “If you transition to veganism thinking that you will simply replicate your previous diet with all vegan products it will be crazy expensive!" she says. "To me, veganism is not replicating your old ways, it’s transforming them. Veganism is a time investment. And if you’re willing to plan and invest time then you will also reap the benefits in cost saving.”

She admits vegan alternatives are more expensive, so I want to know what she really thinks: is veganism accessible for everyone? It’s a yes from Kecha: “Veganism is totally accessible! You can work within your own budget, just don’t compare your grocery cart to anyone else’s. If you let it, veganism will elicit creativity and you will find that whole, real foods can be completely transformed! I allow myself one new vegan product a month - which I encourage people to do - but don’t feel obligated to spend money on fancy vegan products.”

The Vegan Society certainly agrees, offering sage advice such as: get creative, shop supermarket own-brands, shop in the reduced section and keep an eye out for special offers and deals.

In fact, they’ve provided a handy meal guide, ‘8 of the cheapest vegan meals’, offering a variety of tasty vegan recipes for the culinary creatives.

Bon appetite!

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