“Veganism is so expensive” could not be any more wrong of a statement. Some of the cheapest foods in the world (rice, beans, pasta, vegetables) all happen to be vegan. Below you will find a list of my go-to vegan recipes when I’m on a budget. Depending on where you live each serving should cost you less than ONE dollar!
I love me some pasta and not only because it’s dirt cheap. I prefer using whole wheat pastas as it will keep you fuller longer and is far more healthy for you. At my local grocer I can find whole wheat pasta for 1$ a box and regular pasta for .50 sometimes. Always stock up when you find a good deal. I find I can usually get at least 4 servings out of one box of pasta especially if you are adding veggies to bulk up the meal. My go to pasta recipe is: Whole wheat pasta, tomato basil sauce, mixed with spinach. If it’s in the budget make some quick and easy garlic bread on the side by spreading a little oil, garlic and italian seasoning on bread and toasting it until nice and crispy.
Other pasta options: MAC AND CHEESE! Using a potato, carrot & onion you can create liquid gold to pour over your pasta. You can find my favorite recipe for that magic here.
Corn tortillas are usually a dollar for a package of a million. Use this to your advantage to whip up some delicious and cheap tacos and/or nachos. For tacos, I find that corn tortillas can be dry but what I like to do is wrap mine in a slightly wet paper towel and microwave for a few minutes. For nachos, just cut your tortillas into triangles and bake at 350 degrees until nice and crispy.
For toppings/fillings: heat up a can of black beans or any type of beans really with mexican seasoning (buy a bottle of seasoning instead of the individual packets to keep it cheap) along with some green onion. Top with salsa which I can find for $1 a jar.
There are surprisingly a bunch of brands that sell meatless vegan chili for around a dollar. To make chili baked potatoes: wash your potatoes, poke holes in them and bake them at 425 degrees until nice and soft (usually 45 minutes). Top with chili, green onion and if the budget allows that cheese sauce I talked about earlier.
Breakfast for dinner. No one will complain, I promise. I use a really simple and cheap pancake recipe which you can find here. Top with bananas and maple syrup. These are so filling and for under a dollar a serving you can not beat this versatile meal.
RICE & BEANS
I’m sure no one is surprised this is one of the cheapest meals out there. It can be quite bland but luckily there are a million and 1 budget friendly ways to spice them up! Starting with, you guessed it, SPICES! Cook your brown rice and then add your rinsed beans (kidney, black, chili – your choice!) Add mexican seasonings, salsa, hot sauce… whatever you have on hand!
Chickpea curries have become my all time favorite dinner. It is SO filling and so flavorful. This meal comes down to .53 cents a serving and can easily be heated up throughout the week so make a big batch and save yourself some time. I am currently obsessed with japanese curries but if you want to keep it traditional you can start here.
Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just add your oats, plant milk and banana or frozen fruit to a pot and heat until warm. Alternatively you can get on board with the overnight oats craze. Just pop into a mason jar all your ingredients and let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning you can expect to be greeted with a nutritious and slightly sweet meal.
This one could not be simpler. Cook your rice and add to a frying pan along with frozen veggies and some soy sauce. Top with green onion and/or hot sauce.
Usually chickpea tuna is made with vegan mayo and if you have that in the fridge by all means USE THAT, but if you want to keep it budget friendly and a little healthier opt for extra dijon mustard. I get my dijon mustard for 1$ a bottle and it lasts forever! Just mash up your chickpeas and combine with dijon mustard, diced onioncelery seed, pepper, salt, lemon juice if you have it and spread on toasted bread.
Alternatively you can use toast instead of tortillas. Simply spread tomato sauce on your toast/tortilla along with onion, italian seasoning and any veggies you want. Bake in a 400 degree oven until nice and crispy.
In your food processor combine chickpeas, oats or flour, onion, garlic, parsley, cumin and salt to taste until dough balls form. Shape into patties or balls and bake in a 400 degree oven until nice and crispy. Serve over rice.
While you can find inexpensive veggie burgers in the freezer section it is still SO much cheaper to make at home. Combine in a food processor a can of black beans, 1 red onion, oats or flour and spices of your choosing. Add the flour sparingly until the mixture is not falling apart and you are able to form patties. In a frying pan with a little oil add your black bean burgers and cook each side until crispy. Serve on toast or bun (whatever you have on hand!)
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