It’s a fact – you don’t need to be minted to take out meat and dairy from your diet. With Veganuary happening this month many of us will be starting to think about what we need for transitioning to a vegan diet. One misconception is that a vegan diet can be expensive. But if you shop around and put some thought into what you need, it doesn’t have to be. There are thousands of products out there and lots more that just happen to be vegan. Vegan lifestyle expert and organiser of VeggieWorld London, Jimmy Pierson, has all the insider tips...
“If you’re worried about the potential dent in your pocket from going vegan, think again. It’s a common myth that you’ll need to spend a great deal more on your weekly shop. Here’s my top tips for going vegan on a budget:
• Beans, chickpeas and lentils are all brilliant sources of protein, and so much cheaper than meat and fish – usually just a fraction of the cost. Also limit your vegan cheeses and mock meats, as these can still be quite expensive.
• Get yourself a blender, which you can find for as little as a fiver. Use this to make soups and smoothies - great budget meals you can make in bulk and freeze for a later date.
• Most high street chain cafes and supermarkets now do great vegan on-the-go lunch options, but take last night’s leftovers or bring a homemade sandwich to save some pennies.
• Fill your freezer with frozen veg – peas, green beans, cauliflower and spinach – often far cheaper than fresh, still packed full of nutrients.
• Buy own-brand wherever you can. Most of the major supermarkets are now doing their own free-from ranges, which are just as good as branded versions.
• If you have an international supermarket nearby, head there for cut-price cans of coconut milk (great in curries), big bottles of soy and other sauces, and bargain bulk buys of spices and rice.
• Visit the supermarket just before closing and head straight for the reduced isle – you’ll find half-price pots of hummus, salad and fruit items for a few pence and bread almost given away.
• For further ideas, visit an event such as VeggieWorld London. This event will be packed full of vegan food, fashion, cosmetics and other innovative lifestyle products. There will be an international food court offering an exciting choice of vegan caterers, cookery demos from leading plant-based chefs, and inspiring talks from renowned speakers from around the world covering topics from health and nutrition to sport to politics plus plenty of practical tips on the vegan lifestyle.
• Finally, and very importantly, don’t go shopping when you’re hungry! I still do it all the time, and make some terrible decisions thinking with my stomach rather than my head!”
VeggieWorld London takes place on the weekend of 8th and 9th April 2017. Admission is by advance tickets, available on-line from January 2017, priced £8 for adults and £6 concessions, or on the door – £10 for adults, £8 concessions. Entry is free for children up to the age of 12 when accompanied by an adult. Visit veggieworld.de/en/event/london-en for more information about VeggieWorld London.
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