When affording food is a struggle, veganism can seem out of reach. But as someone who has struggled with food insecurity, I can say it’s definitely possible.
Here are my tips for saving money at the grocery store and finding food when you have no money:
1. Try discount grocers.
ALDI, Save-A-Lot, Dollar Tree, Food 4 Less, and other budget grocers sell tons of vegan staples like pasta, dry beans, frozen veggies, and even almond milk at affordable prices.
2. Plan ahead.
In my experience, heading to the grocery store without a list can result in a lot of wasted money (and food). Before you head to the grocer, plan out a few meals and buy only what you need.
3. Cook in big batches.
Consider making a big pot of soup or chili on Sunday and eating the leftovers for lunch or dinner that week. Cooking in bulk reduces costs and saves you time (and time is money!).
4. Frozen foods are just as good.
Buying frozen fruits and veggies is a great way to ensure you waste less food (since they take so much longer to spoil). They also tend to be cheaper than their fresh counterparts.
5. Try the food bank.
If you literally have no money for food, remember that most food banks offer a variety of plant-based staples like rice, beans, pasta, and canned veggies. Many even have soy milk.
6. Find free vegan meals.
Groups like Food Not Bombs and some chapters of Burrito Project offer free vegan meals to anyone in need.
7. Glean from farmers markets.
Many farmers markets throw away excess food (especially produce and bread) at the end of the day, and many are willing to give it away instead. All you have to do is ask.
Want more? Click here for a list of budget-friendly recipes that cost less than a dollar per serving!