We wish everyone could stop talking about the cost of living crisis too, but it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, so here we are. With winter approaching scarily fast, there’s no time like the present to start saving money in other places in an attempt to get a buffer in place for the dreaded heating bills. Nutrition is so important throughout childhood, and even more so at the start of a new school term to support the immune system and boost concentration in class.
That’s why we figured the kitchen was a good place to start saving money – without compromising on your morals either. Read on for our top tips on how to keep spending low but tummies happy!
1. Reduce food waste by becoming a meal planning pro
Learning how to go vegan on a budget can be difficult, but planning for the week ahead is a great way to ensure you stay two steps ahead.
A lot of people struggle eating healthy nutritious vegan food when at work or out and about. Meal prepping and planning your lunches for the days out at work or school will not only help you stay healthy, but also help you save money.
One of our favourite healthy choices is a soya mince based chilli. Simply make enough for the week and freeze batches in reusable lunch boxes and defrost when you need.
2. Use common sense instead of best before dates
There’s a difference between “use by” and “best before”… and best before really does just mean what it says! Yeah okay, it might be a bit wrinkly or a bit stale, but as long as it’s not looking furry or smelling funky, you’ll probably be fine – especially if it’s not meat or dairy! There are plenty of ways to make things last longer, or to revive them once they’re looking a bit sorry for themselves – you can read some ideas to save fruit and veg here!
3. Cut out meat
A vegan shopper is known to spend less money on their shopping. On average, the Vegan substitutes for different fish and meat are 40% cheaper. By the end of the year you will have saved over £600. With all that extra money you could then book a nice holiday for the family to enjoy or if you keep saving up that extra money, then use it to help your children out when they reach adulthood.
We’re here for everyone who’s wanting to make eco-conscious choices, no matter where they are in their journey. You might be here because you’re vegan already, in which case this is a bit of a non-point, but if you’re at the start of the transition then meat is the most planet- and pocket-friendly place to start. There are so many great meat replacements out there nowadays that we guarantee your kids won’t notice if you swap the Richmond sausages to their plant-based offering!
4. Shop locally
Part of following a vegan lifestyle is trying to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible, but that’s not always easy on a budget. Even food hasn’t managed to escape the rising cost of living, with produce prices impacted by the staggeringly high fuel costs. This means that whilst it might have been cheaper in the past to stick to chain supermarkets that have imported their stock, it can now be cheaper to shop somewhere food hasn’t had to travel far to. This is especially true if you’d normally have to drive to the supermarket, but have got a greengrocers round the corner! Every little helps…
Added bonus: it’s a great way to keep yourself in great shape by lugging bags of potatoes across town!
5. Cut the labels: try own brand products
Supermarkets have come on in leaps and bounds over the past few years! is a thing of the past, and when it comes to vegan and veggie options, gone are the days of only being able to get alternative meats and cheeses from the Holland&Barrett fridge.
Asda have recently expanded their budget range massively, meaning there’s not much you can’t get without a fancy name on it. Just give it a try – you and your kids probably won’t notice the difference!
You can go one step further these days and shop from a supermarket’s ‘wonky’ range, buying fruit and veg that wasn’t quite pretty enough to make the cut in regular packaging. This is so much cheaper, and it’s only based on what something looks like! It all tastes the same once it’s made it to your stomach.
6. Make packed lunches
This might come under the meal prep umbrella, but parents deserve a dedicated section to lunchboxes. It’s not just about reducing food waste – it’s about getting everything on the cheap if you know what you want to put in there. When we say make the packed lunch, we really mean it!
For example, if you’re savvy about it (and have plenty of tiny Tupperware), you can bulk buy snacks like biscuits and crisps and portion them out yourself rather than buying multipacks. This is so much cheaper, means you don’t have to go shopping as often, and massively reduces plastic waste.
7. Shop for in season produce
When your veggies are grown out of season, they have to be managed and shipped across the world, which makes them more expensive. Eating local seasonal produce which can be grown in natural conditions and only transported short distances makes them much less expensive, and is beneficial for the environment as a bonus!
8. Don’t shop hungry
Maybe this is an ‘us’ problem, but going shopping on an empty stomach is a worst nightmare for our mental health and our bank balance. Shopping while you’re hungry means you’re more likely to pick up impulse buys to satisfy your cravings in the moment, rather than sticking to your carefully curated shopping list. If you’re taking the kids, don’t let them inside the supermarket before they’ve had a snack either – who knows what could end up in the trolley without you noticing!