Vegan Grocery List on a Budget – sounds unbelievable, right?
I mean, how can you eat a vegan diet and do it on a budget? Well, I’m here to tell you it’s possible. Stick with me and see how I came up with 7 days worth of vegan meals for a family of 4, all under $100.
In this post, I mentioned that last year, I transitioned myself and my family into a vegan diet. That means we eat nothing with meat, animal butter, dairy, or eggs. Although I am willing to occasionally eat something with eggs, it’s very rare.
I decided to eat this way for many personal reasons. I don’t consider myself a vegan, but the thought of eating meat or dairy now simply grosses me out. Not only that, I feel 1,000 percent better than I ever have while eating a SAD (Standard American Diet).
One questioned I get asked a lot is whether or not eating a vegan diet is expensive. In theory, one would think that creating a vegan grocery list on a budget wouldn’t be doable. You think of all the expensive organic fruits and vegetables. And don’t forget all the expensive ingredients that are required in some of these vegan dishes.
If you follow the advice of everyone, then yeah – your vegan grocery list on a budget wouldn’t happen. However, if you take a practical approach and go against the grain of some of the “vegan scripture”, you very well will be able to afford a vegan lifestyle on a budget.
But don’t take my word for it, I’m going to show you exactly what I purchased last week. I’ll also share my 7-day meal plan with you as well. There may be a few items on the grocery list that are questionable. I very well know that grape jelly isn’t vegan, but like I said, I’m not strict with it. I cut out the majority of things, but if my kids want some darn jelly, I’m going to let them have it.
With that said, vegan bible thumpers – this article isn’t for you. But if you show a little grace when it comes to your vegan diet (or plant-based diet), then you’ve very well landed on some information that will help you create a vegan grocery list on a budget. Let’s get to it…
Our Vegan Grocery List on a Budget for One Week
The following list was purchased at three stores. Now, I’ll warn you, I usually do it in two stores. But Walmart didn’t have all that I expected them to have this week, so I decided to slide into Publix on my way home since I was already out. Here’s what I bought:
Parsley – $1.59
Bananas (2.82 lb) – $1.02
Roma Tomatoes (.47 lb) – $.23
Blueberry Bagels (x3) – 1.79
Honey Wheat Bread (x1) (non-vegan) – $.99
Baking Mix (x2) – $1.89
Frozen Sweet Corn – $.95
Orig Pancake Syrup – $1.29
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil – $3.99
Almond Milk (x4) – $1.99
Applesauce Cups (x2) $1.39
Green Peppers – $1.79
Diced Tomatoes – $.45
Tomato Paste – $.39
Grape Jelly (non-vegan) – $1.39
Great Northern Beans – $.55
Italian Dressing – $.89
Spaghetti – $1.09
Broccoli Crowns – $1.45
Bag of Black Beans – $1.45
Avocado – $.49
3 pack of Multi-Peppers (x2) – $2.49
Sweet Potatoes – $1.69
Zucchini – $1.49
Fuji Apples – $2.89
Navel Oranges (x3) – $3.99
3 oz Ginger Root – $1.29
White Onions – $1.69
Limes – $1.69
Aldi Vegan Grocery List on a Budget Total: $68.22
Heads up – Walmart has a few junk food items. I tell the kids that if I get everything needed on my list at Aldi and my 2nd store, they can have a treat. I don’t do it every week, but it’s a nice treat sometimes when we have money left in the grocery budget.
1 can of baked beans – $1.77
12 pk box of kettle corn popcorn – $4.58
Brownie Mix – $1.00 (Hint: make brownies by substituting ground flax seeds for eggs!)
Earth Balance Vegan Organic Butter – $3.28
Portobello Mushrooms (x2) – $1.68
1 lbs. Bananas (Aldi didn’t have enough!) – $.88
Cilantro – $.78
Kale Greens – $.98 (Saved $.25 on these by using the Ibotta app)
Minute Maid (this was my guilty pleasure of the week) – $1.78
Cookies (for the kids) $1.98
Sweet Chili Doritos (x2) (Look, don’t be judging me!) – $2.50
Walmart Vegan Grocery List on a Budget Total: $25.39
Vegan Veggie Mozzarella Shreds – $3.99 (Saved $1.00 on these by using the Ibotta app again. Score!)
Our Vegan Meal Plan on a Budget For The Week
So, my total spent on last week’s grocery list on a budget comes to $97.71! Of course, the grocery bill didn’t have to be this high for the week. I could have skated in with a lower total if I’d left the Doritos, Minute Maid and cookies in Walmart. But seriously, what fun is that?
Trust me, when I deprive myself of a few little sinful temptations in the grocery store, it ends up costing me in other ways. If I don’t get it there, I’ll make a quick run into Walgreens or the Dollar General when I don’t need to. And guess what will be in hand? The stuff I denied myself in the store.
So, if you really want to save money, don’t deny yourself a treat every now and then. If money is really tight, you can always buy the ingredients to make cookies or brownies yourself. The whole Doritos and Minute Maid are very rare. I’m talking veerrrry rare. With that said, next week’s grocery budget will come in a little lower.
Here’s what we ate for the week:
Bagels, fruit, toast or pancakes (I don’t eat pancakes like that anymore, totally a hubby and kid kinda dish. I like to stick to fruit.)
Kid in school had PB&J sandwiches, carrots, applesauce, and Halo oranges (purchased previous week). Toddler at home usually ate home fries baked in the oven(made with potatoes from last week’s purchases) or the leftovers daddy and I ate. He’s picky, so I’m glad he ate anything at all.
Sat – One-pot Creamy Fajita Pasta (sooo good!)
Sun – Taco Buddha Bowls (rice, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, red pepper, avocado, lime)
Mon – One pot spaghetti with great northern beans and zucchini (kids weren’t super impressed, but they ate it)
Tues – Black bean, corn, sweet potato tacos
Thur – Pasta salad (used with macaroni pasta from the pantry, leftover yellow and orange bell pepper, kale, and Italian dressing) and baked beans
Fri – Refried beans (the kind I had was vegan) and leftover roasted veggies (potatoes, zucchini, green pepper, onions) over rice from the pantry
As you can see, we used up everything we purchased. By Saturday morning, our fridge is empty and it’s time for me to create my next vegan grocery list on a budget.
How I Kept My Vegan Grocery List Under $100
There are a few things I do consistently to keep my grocery list under $100 even though I eat a vegan diet. Here are my tips to help you keep your grocery costs down:
Shop online for specialty items and some pantry staples
There are some items that I can find in the store, but I pay more for them. Things like nutritional yeast or brown rice ramen noodles for our stir fry dishes. Instead of paying up, I keep my pantry stocked with these items at a very low cost. Last year, I discovered Thrive Market and the savings were so well worth it, I extended my membership beyond the trial. In some cases, you can save 20 to 50 percent off! If you want to try them out, use this link to save 20 percent off your first three orders!
Make the majority of your own sauces
I don’t do this all the time, I typically make sauces from scratch. For instance, the Portobello stir-fry called for a chili-lime sauce. Instead of just grabbing a stir-fry sauce from the store, I had all the ingredients on my list to make my sauce. Any ingredients leftover, such as the lime, was incorporated into other meals. Which leads me to my next point…
Use ingredients across multiple meals
I knew I would need to purchase a bag of limes from Aldi this week, so I looked for ways to use them up. And I did! I used limes plenty of times this week across the Mexican inspired dishes and stir-fry dishes.
Use money-saving apps when applicable
Many think it’s impossible to use apps like Ibotta for a vegan grocery list. Well, this week I found not one, but two ways to save money on my grocery budget. There was a cashback offer for kale at Walmart, which saved me $.25. This brought the kale down to $.70ish cents.
Walmart also had a $1.00 cash back offer for the vegan cheese shreds, but they didn’t have them. That’s why I ran to Publix. This cash back offer was applicable at Publix as well and I saved $1.00, bringing the cost down to $2.99.
If you don’t shop with Ibotta, you should. Sign up here and receive a $10 welcome bonus when you redeem your first cashback offer.
Always use a list and a meal plan
I understand how difficult it can be to create a meal plan and stick to a grocery list. Believe me, I’ve had my struggles! Here are a few things I know can help you because I’ve done both:
$5 Meal Plans – If you’re not familiar with this service, basically, they will send you a week’s worth of meals and your grocery list to you every Friday. You pay $5 per month for this service. I stopped using it when I decided to fully commit to the vegan eating lifestyle. However, if you’re vegetarian, you can use this meal plan service with no problem. Sign up with this link for a free 14-day trial to see if you like it.
Reclaim Your Food Budget – If you don’t want any recurring costs, I share with you my entire strategy for creating a meal plan and building my grocery list on a budget. I go in-depth about the amount of money you should spend per person each month. I also help you figure out your normal food expenses and more. This workbook comes with a 12-month calendar, weekly shopping list, and meal plan worksheets. The cost is just $7 and you’ll walk away with a plan to eat better on a budget. Plus, this book has example meal plans too and is written with the meat-eater in mind. Grab your copy here for just $7.
Use what you have
Last, but not least, use what you have. Before you go grocery shopping, look at your grocery list and mark off things that you already have. Better than that, create your meal plan around things you already have in your home. This greatly reduces the amount of money you spend.
Wrapping Thangs Up
Well, there you have it. That’s my vegan grocery list on a budget. I consistently keep my food budget under $100 for a family of four. If you’re struggling to create a grocery list on a budget, incorporate these strategies and start keeping count of the extra coins you’ll find in your bank account. Don’t start someday, start today. You’ll be happy you did.