How To Save Money on Food

With inflation surging, choosing to eat more plant-based meals will save you more money than any coupon or money app can. 

Trying to cut down on food costs? Switching to a plant-based diet will save you the most money.

People are constantly trying to find the cheapest way to get the food that they need. They use coupons, they use apps, and they shop around at different stores. These are all great ways to save money on food, but when prices are so high, and you need to cut your food bill drastically, then using apps and coupons will only get you so far.

The best way to save money on food, particularly if you are cooking and feeding a large family on a tight budget, is something you probably don’t want to hear and don’t want to implement. But I will share it anyway because it is the most effective and healthy way to change your diet.

The best way to save money is to cut out the expensive meat, chicken, fish, and cheese and switch to a plant-based diet. 

Plant Based-Food

My family and I did this and we saved a lot of money.

The most significant switch is considering plant-based food as a main dish instead of animal-based foods. This means that instead of eating meat, chicken, fish, or cheese as a main dish, we switched to eating various beans and tofu as the main dish.

We decided to try it after reading more about the benefits of plant-based food. It was great! We felt better. Then we noticed the change in our food bill! It was tremendous. We were spending significantly less on food and had more money to buy fruits and vegetables- even “expensive” ones that we don’t ordinarily splurge on (like strawberries!).

The pricing difference was insane!

With the money we saved on the “main dish,” we were able to use to add more and varied fruits and vegetables to our diet and still came out ahead!

No Need To Be Vegan

Many people get scared when they hear this and think they will need to become vegan or change their entire lifestyle. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can still see significant savings by switching some meals or having one “meatless” day.

We don’t do this for ideological reasons. We still eat a lot of animal-based food- we just cut down a lot. I still drink milk with my coffee, and my kids still eat yogurt. We still eat meat occasionally. However, we eat much less cheese, fish, chicken, and meat.

The Cost-Savings Analysis

Saving Money When Feeding a Family on a Budget

Please think of the cost for a minute: Let’s say that chicken is $2.99 a pound. (prices vary wildly on location, obviously). Beans are for a pound. Look at the cost savings in that! Add in the fact that beans are considered much healthier for you than chicken, and you have a winner!

If you take that extra $1.99- you can use it to spend money on vegetables and fruits that you ordinarily wouldn’t have money for. That is a win-win. Now, think about feeding a large family. Take that $1.99 and multiply it by 5 or 6 or 7. The numbers add up so quickly!

When you have a tight budget, the $10 certainly adds up quickly! However, if you do this a few times a week, we discuss some significant savings. When your large family is on a tight budget, this is an easy way to feed them for a lot less money.

How To Be Vegan on a Budget

 There are many reasons why someone would choose to be vegan. You can choose to do it for moral reasons or health reasons. Choosing a vegan diet doesn’t have to be expensive. You can easily be vegan on a budget if you follow these simple tips.

Being vegan may actually be the best money-saving tip of all! Especially with the rising costs of meat, fish, and chicken, purchasing beans, legumes, and other proteins may save you some money!

Some choose this for health benefits, and some do it because the vegan diet is better for the environment. There are many different reasons for changing your diet to a vegan one. However, a vegan diet can be more expensive, so here are some tips on being vegan on a budget.

Before You Shop

No matter your diet, you can budget better if you plan your meals. By planning meals, you can make a shopping list to ensure you only buy what you need. By planning in advance, you can use foods from your fridge that have a shorter date to prevent food waste. Planning also helps prevent you from buying more expensive, last-minute processed foods.

When Shopping

Shopping on a budget can be difficult. Sometimes food can work out cheaper if you bulk buy. If something is on offer or works out cheaper per 100g, buy it and freeze it if you choose the larger bag.

In the supermarkets, frozen foods can work out cheaper than their fresh counterparts. Buying frozen vegetables helps you stay on budget and can buy vegetables that are not in season. Often, frozen vegetables come pre-prepared, so take some of the hassles out of cooking.

Stock up on the cheaper items that go a long way. You can use rice, Legumes, and beans to bulk out many meals. They are also versatile and can be made into a variety of meals. They are also helpful to have in the cupboard if you stumble upon a coupon or reduced item that needs something to make it into a meal.

When Cooking

One way to keep on a budget is to prepare meals from scratch. By making meals instead of buying processed meals, you can use foods that are already in your cupboard. Adding or substituting ingredients can also tailor the meal to suit your tastes. If you are nervous about home cooking, a google search will get you many simple recipes to follow.

When cooking, make sure you cook extra that you can freeze. This ensures that no food is wasted by being put in the fridge and forgotten. By bulk cooking, you can also ensure there is always something ready in the freezer if you don’t have time to cook, but it will keep you on your budget.

Make a vegetable the star of the meal. The thing that makes a vegan diet more expensive is the meat substitutes. So now and again, make a meal where your favorite vegetable is the star. For example, mushroom risotto is a tasty meal idea you can make on a budget.

You Can Do It On A Budget

A vegan diet is not as expensive as it seems. By following these tips, you can be vegan on a budget. If you have any vegan tips on being vegan on a budget, please share them in the comments.


Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.