How to Eat a Vegan Diet for Under $30 a Week, According to Plant-Based on a Budget Creator Toni Okamoto – Parade
Think a vegan diet is expensive? Blogger and author Toni Okamoto wants you to reconsider.
The creator of Plant-Based on a Budget is back with a new cookbook, Plant-Based on a Budget: Delicious Vegan Recipes for Under $30 a Week in Less Than 30 Minutes a Meal—and she wants to show you just how easy “making the switch” can be.
“When I started the Plant-Based on a Budget website, my goal was to teach people that it’s actually more affordable than a standard American diet,” says Okamoto. “And now, with my book, I’ve taken everything I’ve learned over the past 10 years and put it together to create a comprehensive guide to help people save their pennies while eating healthy. Everyone deserves access to foods that will enhance their health—regardless of their finances.”
Okamoto shared her top tips for transitioning to a plant-based diet—and how to do it on the cheap. Dig in!
“To be fair, some vegan substitutes can be pretty pricey. When transitioning to a plant-based diet it’s often easiest mentally for people to swap the foods they’ve been eating with the vegan substitute, so it’s easy to end up spending a lot. But by learning to cook with whole foods, you can save so much money, and the food is a lot healthier, too.”
Find a go-to meal.
“Fried brown rice is easily one of my favorite meals. I make a huge batch of brown rice nearly every week, and on the third or fourth day, when my rice is getting a little tough, it’s time to make this recipe. If you have the rice ready, it comes together in about 10 minutes, and it’s loaded with frozen veggies that you can get for super cheap.”
Stock your pantry with the basics.
“There are a few ingredients I make sure to always keep stocked: rice, cans of beans, vegetable bouillon, hot sauce (it makes everything taste good!), jarred minced garlic (great for saving time) and various spaces like salt, pepper, chili flakes, cumin and cinnamon.”
Make your occasional indulgences worth it.
“Miyoko’s cheeses are so good! There are so many flavors and they pair well with Trader Joe’s multigrain crackers. I also have a major sweet tooth, so Magnum’s Non-Dairy Almond bars make their way into my grocery cart pretty regularly.”
Find your tribe.
“Find a community of fellow vegans or vegetarians that will support you on your journey. In my early 20s, I took some community college classes and joined the vegetarian club there. That’s when my interest in plant-based eating really ramped up. That club became my support system, and the members really educated and inspired me. Together, we hosted bake sales, cooked potlucks and visited farmed animal sanctuaries. Having that community made all the difference in my embrace of a plant-based, vegan lifestyle.”