Vegetarian on a budget

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Cutting food costs in important for many households. Fortunately, there are many ways vegetarians can save money while still eating healthily. A vegetarian diet should already be less expensive than a meat-based diet. Here are some more tips to save:

  • Grow your own - Even the smallest of gardens can help save food costs. For example, someone living in an apartment can grow runner beans.
  • Buy in bulk - Buying grains and legumes in bulk is usually cheaper than pre-packaged. Dry mixes for popular vegetarian foods such as falafel can also often be found in the bulk section of some grocery stores.
  • Eat locally and in season - Fruit and vegetables grown out of season typically have a high price tag because of the transportation costs. Besides cutting down on price and carbon footprint, locally-grown foods are often fresher and better-tasting. Shopping at a farmers market can further lower costs for producers and consumers.
  • Preserve and store - Freezing and canning cut down a waste. Produce can be acquired in season when plentiful and cheap, and saved for the off-season.
  • Shop at ethnic grocery stores - Tasty, affordable vegetarian ingredients can often be found in South Asian and East Asian shops. See also: Vegetarianism in Asia
  • Get a CSA share - This option may be difficult for those living paycheck-to-paycheck, as CSAs typically require a lump sum payment at the beginning of the growing season. However, over a period of months the savings add up for a CSA member because they avoid many costs which are passed on to consumers in other sales models.
  • Organic or conventional? - Large-scale, pesticide-using farming operations receive government subsidies, which organic operations typically do not. Thus the consumer cost for conventionally-raised produce is typically lower than for organic.

Cheap vegetarian recipes[edit | edit source]

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