Over half a million people are currently taking part in Veganuary 2023. It’s an incredible feat, with many expected to continue their vegan journey long after January has come to an end. There are many proven benefits to a vegan diet, with positive impacts on both the planet and our health. Plus, reducing our meat consumption can have a positive impact on our wallets.
You may continue as a fully-fledged vegan, or you may choose to carry on as a vegetarian or pescatarian. Perhaps you will continue to eat meat and animal by-products but reduce your intake of these items. You could even become a ‘part-time’ vegan, for example being vegan five days a week and vegetarian the other 2 days.
Whatever you choose to do, here are some ways to continue your Veganuary – and various forms of it – well into the future.
Plan your diet
It is important to plan a vegan diet well. You need to ensure you are getting the correct amount of nutrition in your diet. Do some research and learn all about the foods you need to have a balanced intake. Your health is the most important thing, so it is worth checking you are getting enough vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Planning your diet can also ensure you don’t overspend on food. As mentioned in our article about doing Veganuary on a budget, brands like to entice you in with expensive meat alternatives. Avoid this by creating a weekly meal plan and when you go shopping, be strict and stick to your list!
Not only will this be kinder to your wallet, but you can ensure you have a great variety of meals and dishes. Veganism doesn’t have to be boring – it only takes a little research to find some delicious recipes.
Make sure you don’t restrict yourself too much, though. If you fancy the occasional meat or dairy alternative, go for it! The key to longevity is to enjoy the food you eat. If you aren’t happy with what you are eating, you are more likely to stray from a vegan diet.
Here are some of our favourite affordable meat and dairy alternatives:
Make your own
It is easier than you think to make your own vegan food. This will save you money, plus it can be fun to get creative.
Seitan is a mixture of flour and water, made by rinsing away the starch in the dough, leaving just the high-protein gluten behind. When cooked, it has a surprisingly similar look and texture to that of meat. It has become highly popular in the vegan community and is a much cheaper alternative to buying it ready-made or using meat alternatives.
Yup It’s Vegan, have a great, easy-to-follow recipe for homemade seitan. Check it out here.
We will admit, making your own vegan cheese is labour intensive, and sometimes it may just be worth buying it. However, if you enjoy cooking and creating, it may be fun for you to give it a go yourself.
It can be made using a variety of ingredients, from coconut milk and plant-based milk to cashew nuts. One of the best recipes we found is from The Hidden Veggies. This recipe is great, not only because it is straight-forward, but the ingredients won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Plus, there’s many variations given within the recipe, such as mozzarella style cheese, smoked cheese and garlic and herb cheese. Delicious!
Nut and seed milks are super to easy to make at home. There are 2 main ingredients – water and your choice of nuts. You can add in maple syrup, medjool dates or vanilla extract for a little sweetness too. Simply blend together and voila, you have a vegan milk alternative.
You can do this with oats too, which is a particularly cheap way of making a milk alternative. A kilogram of oats costs 75p in Tesco.
You can make milk alternatives from a huge range of nuts and seeds. From My Bowl’s recipe is excellent, and they give 12 different varieties you can make. You’re bound to find an option you enjoy!
Ways to cut costs
Remember, being a vegan or vegetarian doesn’t have to cost a bomb. We have previously written articles providing you with tips about how to complete Veganuary on a budget as well as 5 affordable and delicious vegan recipes you need to try.
There are many other ways you can cut costs and help you keep to your vegan diet. These include:
- Buy tinned food: If you are unsure you will use up an item quickly enough, buy the tinned alternative. This will last longer, and reduce food waste, thus saving you some cash.
- Freeze food: Similarly, you could freeze any fresh vegetables you buy as soon as you buy them. Once you have done a food shop, chop and bag up your vegetables. They will last you longer and reduces any waste, saving you money in the long-term.
- Buy reduced items: Every supermarket has a yellow label section. Ask employees the time when yellow-sticker items are put on the shelves and get some bargains! You can freeze fresh items, and items such as vegetables, often last a few days long than the best before date given. Items such as tins and store cupboard items have longer use-by dates on them and are frequently reduced due to over stock.
- Cook in bulk: Bulk cooking is an affordable way of making lots of portions for very little money. It also saves you money in the long run. Having a meal already prepared lessens the likelihood of getting a takeaway or picking up a ready meal, saving you extra pennies.
- Try new items on offer: If you fancy trying a new vegan item or meat-alternative, wait until it is on offer before you buy it. In the likelihood you don’t like the item, you haven’t spent too much on it and it isn’t a huge loss for your wallet.
How much could you save?
Research shows one in three Britons make a conscious effort to reduce their meat consumption. A study published in the journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition suggests a strictly vegetarian diet could cost around £550 less annually than a typical meat eaters diet. This is a huge amount of money.
Similarly, a totally vegan diet may save you a whopping 40% on your food bill annually, a study led by the Veganuary movement has shown. It also takes approximately a third off your cooking time, giving you extra time to do the things you love, as well as saving you money on your gas and electric bills.
Congratulations for making it to the end of Veganuary! Whether you are continuing your vegan journey, going vegetarian or cutting down your meat and animal product intake, your wallet will thank you.