How to eat healthy for cheap! | Veganuary

My weekly shop is really cheap - I'm a vegan and a student, so I've learnt how to make big, nutritious meals on a budget! There's a 24 hour little Waitrose near me but as that's so expensive and doesn't have that much in it, so I walk 35 mins to a big Tesco (I could get the bus, but walking is free and I take a big backpack and some re-usable bags).

The main staple things that I buy:
  • Veg - I buy it loose (mostly for environmental reasons) rather than in packaging, but if I do get packet veg like cherry tomatoes or mushrooms, I just go for Tesco's own brand rather than anything fancy, because it's all the same. All the veg I buy is cheap, and is usually carrots, onions, courgette, broccoli, spinach, cherry tomatoes and pepper.  
  • Fruit - The fruit I eat the most are definitely bananas, and you can get a nice big bunch for cheap, especially when it's measured by weight rather than by individual banana. I once bought a 1kg bag of ripe bananas for under a £1, which was amazing, but usually I just have to buy the greenish bananas in advance and wait for them to ripen. I'm a big raspberries fan so when they're on offer I'll buy the frozen bags of raspberries for my oats in the morning (think it's something like 3 bags for £5) and that lasts me ages! I'll often treat myself to some strawberries, too, 
  • Potatoes - Technically a vegetable but I thought I'd put it in its own category because they're a staple of a lot of my meals, and don't cost a lot at all. They're just heavy to walk with! 
  • Bread - I always check the discounted bread first and usually I can find something there, but bread is usually cheap anyway.  
  • Pasta/rice/gnocchi - I buy Tesco's own brand of these things and unless you're buying fancy lentil pasta or something it's not expensive. 
  • Soup - Often there are deals on cans of soup so I stock up when that's the case, my favourite being Heinz lentil soup which I add chopped up veg to and a bit of bread and that's lunch sorted.
  • Beans - Tinned beans are cheap and cheerful! 
  • Extra odd bits that last a while/I don't buy weekly - chopped tomatoes to make sauces, olives if I need some but they usually last me weeks because I take a while to get through them (Tesco's own brand is £1 a pot), pumpkin seeds if I've run out but they last me over a month, and the same with herbs and spices which last me a really long time. I also buy tofu now and then or falafel if I want a treat as it's more on the pricey side of around £2 but lasts a few meals. 

I don't really buy many vegan alternatives for things, like frozen meat substitutes, but if I do I'll get it while it's on offer or Tesco's own veggie brand. Free From things are generally more expensive, and it's very, very rare I'll buy anything from that section. I only have a milk substitute very rarely too as I use water in my morning oats and as I walk quite far with my heavy bag back home so I usually bypass getting a litre of almond milk to carry, haha.

If I want a treat, there's obviously lots of cheap 'junk' food out there like bourbon biscuits (my fave) or cheap crisps. Hummus is something that's often discounted at the end of the day too!

If you're vegan or plant-based you obviously don't have to eat like this, but it's very possible to eat plant-based for cheap. And, the meals can be tasty, too. You definitely don't need to bypass taste if you're trying to make cheap meals :-)

A post shared by dani🍓 (@plantsandgoodvibes) on

Check out my instagram for more examples of the things I eat, or come and say hi on twitter!


  1. I love this post! I have been vegan for almost two years now, and am also a student. I think it's so important to have healthy meals on a budget! Meal planning and saving money wherever possible are great ways to maintain a food budget and it definitely isn't any harder on a vegan diet (in fact, I think it's easier!) :)

    xx Alyssa

    1. Hi Alyssa, I would definitely agree it's actually easier now I've gone vegan and my weekly shop is cheaper! Thanks for reading! :-D

  2. This post is lovely! I'm definitely trying to embrace a more veggie filled start to my year! Even though I'm not going vegan, I think meat free meals are really important and much easier and cheaper to do! Frozen veg is also a great way to get items like spinach, butternut squash and med veg as well for only around £1 a bag! I love your first photo looks so delicious!

    1. Yes, frozen veg is definitely a great way forward!! Thank you, always trying to add more colour to my plates, haha. Hoping your veggie-filled meals are going well!

  3. people always say that being vegan is really expensive - this post is so insightful that it's actually not! a couple of my friends went vegan this year so im sharing this post with them :) your food looks delish too, im salivating and its not even 6am yet haha!

    katie. xx

    1. hi! Yeah a lot of people do say that, and it's probably something I thought too before I went vegan! But you can eat just as expensive/cheap as a vegan than any other way of eating! and haha, never too early for food ;-) thanks for commenting! xx