Veganism has seen its best year in 2017 with a huge rise in new plant-based products in supermarkets and high street shops. We would be correct in thinking that going vegan is getting a lot easier, but if you are short on cash then it can be very hard.
Where will the food come from? Are there any charities that can help? What should I be eating? All these questions are answered in the Vegan Food UK Guide to Eating Food When You Are Skint.
- If money really has run dry then the first thing you should do is take advantage of food banks. Start locally and see if the supermarkets have any vegan food in the boxes, if not, then you can always contact the Human Kindness Vegan Food Bank – who can also help with toiletries.
- Know when food gets reduced at your local supermarket. There might be a certain day or time when food, especially fruit & veg, gets reduced to literally pennies as it’s losing its freshness. Then take food home and follow the next steps.
- If you have limited money then stock up on filling and nutritious staples such as rice, beans, oats and lentils. All of these last longer and are generally cheaper when bought dried and in bulk. Ethnic shops are renowned for selling these items at reasonable costs.
- Pasta. Not quite as nutritious but a cheap and satisfying carbohydrate that will see you through the hard times. Could also be worth finding an Aldi, Poundstretchers, Home Bargains or Lidl to stock up on staples, tinned tomatoes and mixed herbs at a cheaper price.
- Plan the whole week ahead with what food you will have for each meal. This will help when you go shopping so that you do not buy any unwanted food and it will help cut down on food waste at home.
- Batch cook. Cook up the whole week’s meals in advance and then freeze.
- The freezer is your friend. There isn’t much you cant freeze, which is great because it keeps everything fresher for longer and just defrost when you like. Freeze: batch cooked meals, bread, veg, chopped up fruit, fresh herbs, garlic, etc.
- Learn how to cook a few simple wholefood meals like soup and stews which involve most of the cheap ingredients that we have already mentioned in this guide.
- Seasonal fruit and veg is cheaper when in season and local markets nearly always reduce produce at the end of the day…fill your boots (and your freezer).
- Follow the amazing Jack Monroe and her guide to Cooking on a Bootstrap for incredibly cheap but delicious recipes.
- If you are missing vegan meats and cheeses then head to Farmfoods for cheap plant-based sausages, mince, burgers and meatballs. Also Holland & Barrett are known to heavily reduce chilled items when they are getting close to the sell-by date.
- Dairy free milks can be found for Â£1 at most supermarkets now and you can stretch them further by adding 50% water and mixing. If you are having porridge then cook with water and add milk at the end.
- Use cash back sites and apps such as Click Snap (Quidco) app to buy suitable groceries. Also use Olio app for local free food giveaways and Love Health, Hate Waste for food that can be up to 90% cheaper due to damaged packaging.
- Grow your own fruit and veg and/or use the community garden (if you have one close by) and trade extra produce with other gardeners. Look into community groups that plant up unused land in towns and cities with edibles.
- Forage seasonal berries, mushrooms and fruit and make jams, jellies and chutneys. Forage leaves for soups and salads (be advised to seek professional advice with this where possible as there are lots of poisonous varieties of plants)
- Visit your local farmer’s market at closing time for some of the biggest produce reductions you can get, and take friends with you to help carry your hoard.
- If you only have a few ingredients see if you can band together with family or friends to make a nice meal to feed everyone.
- Community Cafes can be a lifesaver for cheap, hot food. The Real Junk Food Project are in many cities and have a pay-what-you-feel scheme going and the food can be excellent.
Many thanks to all the members of Vegan Food UK who sent us their tips and for making this guide possible.
Got the cash but short on time? Read our 10 Top Time Saving Vegan Food Tips