How to be Vegan on a Budget

By Michaela Lange  •  July 27, 2015

Like every other young adult in America, the Internet has become one of my best friends. I cannot remember a day in the past year where I have not used it. I can find out about my friends’ latest adventures, the most recent Zara sale, and what is going on in the news, all with a few quick clicks on the keyboard. My newest Internet obsession, though, has been fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blogs. I find the women I follow inspiring. Not only by their creations, but by their ability to take the Internet by storm and make something of their own from scratch. Besides grace, smarts, and ambition, one thing I’ve noticed about these women is that they ALL seem to be vegan.

Being a Californian native, veganism is not a new concept to me. But I have never seen it on such a large scale as I have in the past year. Celebrities such as Lea Michele, Paul McCartney, and Alicia Silverstone swear by it. And if the woman who played Cher loves it, it must be good. There’s only one problem: being a vegan can be expensive. So here are some tips on how to keep the animal products away as well as the debt.

Food Delivery for Vegans

If you are like me after a long day of work, you just don’t feel like going to a grocery store. So why not have your food delivered to you? Bestowed is a company that will bring healthy groceries right to your door. You can order their boxes based on the meal or diet. In the diet tab they have a vegan category.

Similarly, HelloFresh creates healthy recipes and brings the food to your door- measured and all. Just follow the instructions and cook it up. They have a plan called The Veggie Box. Although some of the recipes are not vegan, most have only one ingredient that is animal based and is easy to swap out.

Vegan Tricks of the Trade

Speaking of easy swaps, exchanging animal products for vegan alternatives is a smart way to save money on food. Here are some of my favorite swaps:

  • Use extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter. Unlike butter neither olive oil nor coconut oil have cholesterol. Plus, both give us brainpower and strong, shiny hair. Coconut oil is great in baking.
  • Use a smashed banana or applesauce instead of an egg when baking. Both of these give moisture and sweetness to your cooking creations.
  • Use almond milk instead of cow’s milk. It’s a great source of protein and goes great with coffee, oatmeal and cookies!
  • Use two tablespoons of vinegar and one cup of soymilk instead of buttermilk. Now you don’t have to give up those pancakes.
  • Use coconut milk yogurt for diary yogurt. This is a great substitute that I eat on the daily. It doesn’t have a lot of protein, though, so I mix in a little vanilla protein powder for some bulk.

Vegan Recipes

As my friend Jennie says, an important part of vegan cooking is experimenting. She has been a vegan for many years now and has come up with some delicious ideas.

Here are some of her recipes:

Vegan Banana “Nice” Cream

Blend 4 ripe frozen bananas (make sure you slice them before you put them in the freezer). Add in a splash of coconut water or almond milk to help blend everything. Stop blending mid-way and add in whatever flavorings you desire. Some of my favorites include cacao, peanut butter, a hint of vanilla bean, or some frozen strawberries. Serve in a bowl and top with fresh berries, granola, and shredded coconut if you wish. 

Superfood Vegan Salad Bowl

Chop: 

1/2 red & green pepper

Romaine lettuce

2 tablespoons of cilantro

1/4 vidalia onion, pan fry to soften (optional) 

1/2 an avocado 

Cook your choice of rice or quinoa and place into a bowl. Add in black beans or pinto beans and stir into the mixture. Top off the bowl with the chopped ingredients and then squeeze in some lime. Finish off with ground pepper, a hint of sea salt, and chia seeds. 

–Xoxo, Jennie O’Neill

Quick Tips for People New To A Vegan Diet

  • Target has started to come out with organic food and now has some great vegan options.
  • Buy vegan snacks, protein powders and bars on Amazon.
  • Visit the VegNews Magazine website. This is an award-winning magazine that will keep you up to date on the latest vegan spots, news, recipes, and ways to travel while being vegan.
  • Make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet and take supplements if needed.
  • Invest in a good protein powder that you can throw into oatmeal, smoothies, cereal, and so on.


Michaela Lange Michaela Lange Michaela is an editorial intern and full-time student at WashU in St. Louis. Although she hails from sunny Southern California she has spent the past few years in Massachusetts in search of Boston’s best clam chowder and combating both the Polar Vortex and Snowpocalypse.


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