As a vegan, I’ve long known that I spend a lot less on food than my friends who eat meat. But now there is a study which backs this up. A study published in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition found that a vegetarian diet saves $746 per year.
The study calculated the savings by comparing two meal plans. The first meal plan was the economical MyPlate meal plan from the US Department of Agriculture. In case you didn’t know, MyPlate is what recently replaced the food pyramid as the government’s recommendation for how to eat. On the MyPlate website, you can get sample meal plans.
For the vegetarian diet, the study used similar meal plans – but specifically noted that olive oil was used in the recipes. Both meal plans had 2000 calories per day. Both meal plans had costs calculated using the cheapest ingredients available at Stop & Shop.
Even when calculating in the pricier ingredients in the vegetarian diet plan (like olive oil instead of the canola oil used in the government’s meal plans), the vegetarian diet was still $14.36 cheaper per week than the government’s recommended diet plan. That adds up to a total of almost $750 per year.
More importantly, the vegetarian diet had 25 more servings of vegetables, 14 more servings of whole grains, and 8 more servings of fruit. Considering the high cost of preventable diseases (heart disease, anyone?), a plant-based diet is much cheaper in the long run.
Still worried that switching to a plant-based diet will cost too much?
The truth is that it probably will cost you more – but only at first. During the transition phase, many people eat a lot of mock meats and other convenience foods. Over time, you will start to learn more recipes which include dirt-cheap ingredients like lentils and beans (even cheaper if you buy them in bulk instead of canned!). You might have to spend more on items like vegan ice cream or fancy coconut butters, but it will be balanced out by the lower price of your staples.
Want more info on the cost of going vegetarian or vegan? Here are some articles for starters:
- How to save money when going vegan
- Cost of animal proteins vs. plant proteins
- Where to find vegan coupons
- Healthiest vegan foods for under $1
Want to go vegan but not sure how? Download Vegan Made Easy
This ultra-modern eBook is divided into 3 parts: What Do Vegans Eat, Vegan Nutrition, and Making the Transition. It gives you the straight-forward information you need to feel empowered to make the switch to plant-based eating and living. Learn more here