One of the biggest misconceptions I hear about a vegan diet is that it’s expensive. I can’t help but laugh when I get told that I’m ‘lucky’ to be able to eat this way – believe it or not, I actually spend less money on groceries now!
Before I went vegan I would eat salmon a few times a week, along with creamy sauces and fancy cheeses. That stuff isn’t cheap. Once I cut the meat and fish from my diet, my grocery bill decreased dramatically.
Don’t believe me? Let me show you what a week’s worth of vegan meals and snacks looks like. I can feed both myself and my boyfriend for less than £28 each – including a Friday night takeaway!
I popped over to Tesco on a chilly Sunday morning, armed with a shopping list and a weekly meal plan. It’s always worth spending half an hour on Pinterest deciding what you’ll be eating each day – that way, you’re only buying exactly what you’ll be using.
I’m going to assume that most people have at least a few essential herbs and spices in their kitchen. If you don’t, your initial grocery haul will be a little more expensive. In the long run, however, these little jars of powder will last for months on end.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s go!
Items I Bought
- Avocado x2: £1.80
- Bananas x5: £0.90
- Tofu: £2.00
- Carrots x4: £0.24
- Spinach: £1.00
- Sweet Potatoes x5: £1.75
- White Onions x2: £0.32
- Cherry Tomatoes: £0.69
- Mushrooms: £0.90
- Coriander: £0.70
- Dates: £2.00
- Granny Smith Apples x5: £1.50
- Almond Milk: £1.50
- Oats: £0.75
- Frozen Berries: £2.00
- Peanut Butter: £1.20
- Seeded Bread: £0.80
- Tinned Tomatoes x2: £0.60
- Black Beans x2: £1.00
- Wholemeal Tortillas: £1.00
- Curly Kale: £0.89
- Lemons x2: £0.70
- Fresh Mint: £1.00
- Cucumber: £0.45
- Spaghetti: £0.20
- Coconut Milk x2: £1.90
- Vegetable Stock Cubes: £0.50
- Lentils: £1.15
- Mustard Seeds: £0.85
- Couscous: £0.70
- Radishes: £0.68
- Asparagus: £1.80
- Mangetout: £0.89
- Dijon Mustard: £0.55
- Desiccated Coconut: £1.00
- Maple Syrup: £4.00
- Baby Potatoes: £1.00
- Off The Eaten Path Crisps: £1.25
Items I Already Owned
- Chilli Flakes
- Vanilla Extract
- Olive Oil
- Curry Powder
- Bay Leaves
- Vegan Margarine
- Mixed Herbs
- Vegan cheeseburger from Big V London x2: £14.00
Not bad, right? You’ll be surprised at how many different meals you’ll be able to make with just a few ingredients!
I decided to start the week off right with my current favourite breakfast – avocado on toast, dusted with chilli flakes. And yes, I may have taken the time to cut the avocado into tiny stars.
I’m feeling pretty organised today – I made a big batch of roasted sweet potato soup on Sunday afternoon, which should last me a couple of days. I try to avoid eating out for lunch as food tends to be pretty overpriced in the middle of London, so no-fuss options like soup are easy to prepare in advance.
This is a no-brainer – I’ve been craving pasta ALL DAY. My go-to dinner after a busy day at work is this tomato and basil pasta dish, which takes less than 30 minutes to throw together. Simple, easy and delicious!
It’s been a pretty carb-heavy day, so I haven’t really felt hungry between meals. I decide to be proactive and whip up a batch of my favourite peanut butter energy balls – just one or two of these little guys can keep even the strongest hunger pangs at bay. Of course, I can’t resist trying one!
I wake up still feeling pretty full from yesterday, so I opt for a fresh green juice as a light breakfast – it only takes me a few minutes to blend spinach, kale, cucumber, lemon, green apple and mint leaves along with half a litre of water. I always make sure to eat something in the morning even if I’m not particularly hungry, otherwise I find myself reaching for less-healthy snacks at around 11am!
Some people can’t stand having the same meal two days in a row, but I am not one of those people. Back to the roasted sweet potato soup! It’s delicious with a slice or two of seeded bread, and keeps me going through a busy afternoon.
I want something light and fresh this evening, so I opt for a seasonal salad piled high with potatoes, radishes, asparagus and mangetout.
I’m rushed off my feet today, so I feel extra grateful for the energy balls that I popped in my bag earlier. I eat two at around 3pm, and snack on a banana mid-morning.
I have a little extra time this morning as I work from home on Wednesdays, so it’s the perfect opportunity to make a batch of my amazing peanut butter granola! I’m pretty hungry, so I make a bowl of oatmeal and berries to go with it. The best part is, I now have a whole jar of granola to last me the week!
I still have another serving of sweet potato soup left, but I’m not really feeling it after two days in a row. I could go for a sandwich, though – how about a tofu salad sandwich with homemade peanut satay sauce? Perfect. I make two, as I’m definitely going to want this again!
I just can’t get enough of Mexican food lately, and end up cooking it at least once a week. Today I’m craving sweet potato, kale and mushroom quesadillas – they’re quick, easy and packed with vegetables. I swear I’m going to turn orange from the amount of sweet potatoes I eat!
My boyfriend and I decide to snuggle up and watch a documentary in the evening, so I reach for my current favourite snack: pea and pinto bean crisps! This particular brand is ‘Off The Eaten Path,’ and I’m obsessed with their balsamic vinegar and caramelised onion flavour. If you haven’t tried them, you seriously need to. Plus, how beautiful is that packaging?
Although it’s technically still summer (it’s August!) I wake up to a grey, chilly morning. I’m not complaining, though – it’s the perfect opportunity for a warming bowl of oatmeal. With a handful of frozen berries on top, I can’t think of a better way to start the day!
You guys already know what I’m going to say. That last portion of roasted sweet potato soup has been calling my name, so I decide to eat it while it’s still fairly fresh. It’s amazing how far you can stretch a few sweet potatoes, carrot, onions and vegetable stock!
It’s still cold and rainy by the time I get home from work, so I warm up with a rich, flavourful lentil dhal. Served with a generous helping of couscous and topped with fresh coriander, it’s the perfect antidote to this slightly disappointing British summer.
I munched on a banana on the train home from work, but other than that I wasn’t really in the mood for snacks today. A rare occurrence!
I decide to opt for another bowl of peanut butter granola today – this time I add berries and chopped banana, and top it all off with a splash of almond milk. It tastes more like a sweet snack than a healthy breakfast!
I’ve been looking forward to eating the second tofu salad sandwich almost as soon as I finished the first one! Prepping my lunches in advance saves me so much time in the morning – if I didn’t do it, I’d end up eating out a lot more. Homemade food is so much cheaper and healthier!
You guys didn’t think I was going to cook on a Friday night, did you? To be honest, I usually do! This evening however, I decide to treat myself to my favourite vegan burger. This one is from Big V London at Borough Market, and tastes exactly like a gourmet version of a Big Mac. One of the many benefits of working in London!
I blended up another green juice before I left for work, so I ended up drinking that just after lunch along with an energy ball. My boyfriend and I also polished off the rest of the pea and pinto bean crisps while watching a movie that night!
So there you have it – everything I eat during a typical working week! My weekends often look a little different, as there is more baking involved and I have the time to create more complicated meals. If you guys are interested, I’ll make a separate post on this.
The beauty of these meals is that they can easily be stretched over the weekend if you’re on a tight budget. Simply make larger portions at dinner and lunch (the ingredients easily allow for that) and eat the leftovers on Saturday and Sunday.
You don’t need to splash out on expensive fake meats and tropical fruit in order to eat a healthy vegan diet, and you also don’t need to restrict yourself and miss out on treats! Vegan food can be some of the cheapest options in the supermarket – beans, rice, lentils and potatoes are all free from animal products and literally cost pennies.
A good rule of thumb is to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Listen to your body’s natural hunger cues, and always eat whole foods in abundance. Most importantly, don’t forget to treat yourself! Are you really living your best life if you deny yourself the occasional juicy vegan cheeseburger?
What does a week’s worth of meals look like for you? I’d love to know!