On a budget

The App Happy Cow helped me find lots of places to eat that offered tasty meals at affordable prices.

A plant-based diet is perfect for those on a budget! During your studies, on a low salary or for general smart spenders, it is easy to eat healthily and diversely without spending a lot.

Create a good foundation with basic foods like rice, pasta, legumes and potatoes and then combine different vegetables, fruit and spices. Tofu and milk alternatives, like oat or soya, are found in mainstream stores, and don´t differ greatly in terms of price from cow’s milk. Caffè Nero and Costa Coffee can create your favourite coffee with soya milk, and Starbucks and Pret a Manger also have coconut milk.

Easy tips

Choose meals based on grains and beans. They are inexpensive and packed with nutrients.

Buying frozen fruits can be cheaper than fresh fruits. So check out the price difference before you buy.

Buy flour, grains and dried fruit in bulk. It will probably work out cheaper than smaller packages.

Buy generic brands, they are usually just as good as the brand names but much less expensive.

Plan ahead. If you spend some time planning what you are going to buy and eat, and check what leftovers you have from previous days, you will be sure to save some money.

Shop wisely. There can be huge price differences between shops so look around. Lidl, Aldi and Asda are often the cheapest for fruits, veggies, nuts and grains – as well as products like bean burgers, samosas and spring rolls – but not always!

Eating Out

These fast food chains and restaurants offer full vegan meals that will leave you satisfied for £10 or less.

Toby Carvery: Try the filling mains such as the cottage pie or chick pea wellington, with potatoes and veggies.

JD Wetherspoon: Order the curry with rice and samosa for a tasty meal.

Pret A Manger: The soups and sandwiches are delicious, filling and inexpensive.

Falafel restaurants: There are plenty of falafel restaurants that can serve you a hearty, filling meal for under £5. Add chilli and tahini to your falafel and pitta for a zing.

Subway: Try the footlong Veggie Delite with a drink for £5.00.

West Cornwall Pasty Company: Try the wholemeal vegetable pasty for under £4.00.

Menu plan

The following examples show you just how easy it is to eat healthy, tasty and animal-friendly foods every day.

All of these daily meal plans work out at less than £5 a day!

Day 1

BREAKFAST:
Fruit Cereal: one banana, 200g breakfast cereal, 250ml soya milk
SNACK:
1 apple with a handful of mixed nuts and raisins

LUNCH:
Couscous Salad: 200g couscous, 20g tomatoes, 1/3 cucumber, homemade oil-and-vinegar dressing with salt & pepper
DINNER:
Curry with Rice: 250g white rice, ½ can coconut milk, frozen mixed vegetables, curry powder, salt & pepper

Total cost for one day: £3.73

Day 2

BREAKFAST:
2 slices of wholemeal bread, jam, peanut butter
SNACK:
1 fruit and nut bar

LUNCH:
Bulgur-Broccoli Salad: 150g bulgur, 150g broccoli, one carrot, ½ leek, ½ red pepper, 100g smoked tofu, salt & pepper, lemon juice, parsley
DINNER:
Mediterranean Pasta: 300g wholemeal pasta, 250g canned tomatoes, 150g frozen peas, 100g mushrooms, salt, pepper, basil

Total cost for one day: £4.95

Day 3

BREAKFAST:
Fruit Salad: 1 apple, 1 banana, 100g frozen berries, 100g soya yoghurt
SNACK:
2 oat biscuits

LUNCH:
Sausage Sandwich: 2 slices of wholemeal bread with 20g vegetable margarine, 2 veggie sausages
DINNER:
Roast Dinner: 2 nut cutlets, 250g potatoes, 1 carrot, 100g frozen peas, 150g broccoli, gravy

Total cost for one day: £3.88