When we talk about veganism, many people right of the bat say how expensive it is. When I went vegan almost three years ago, I had never heard of people saying how expensive it was or how expensive it could be depending on what you are buying. I bought a lot of processed faux meats and processed foods and my grocery bill was high, and at that time I was getting $200 a month in food stamps. I spent that money in one shopping trip and that food lasted me about a week to a week and a half. It was very expensive.
As I did more research and began educating myself, I realized how much of that processed food I really did not need. It was not only bad for my health, but also for my wallet. About a year ago, I began weeding out processed foods. Now, when I go to the grocery store, you won’t see any packaged foods in my basket unless it’s the organic power greens that come in a large plastic container, or my quinoa, black rice, beans, rolled oats and steel cut oats that I get from the bulk section of the store (and peanut butter, Justin’s maple almond butter is like crack).
One day, I actually went down every aisle to see all of the foods that come packaged and I was floored. I really never paid attention to all of the stuff they sell in the store. I cannot believe all of the stuff they sell in stores that they pass off as “food”, but then again, I can believe it.
Most of that “food” even looks like it can clog all of your arteries with just a sniff of it, you don’t even have to eat it.
If you look at the prices of some of the “foods”, it’s ridiculous. Compared to the price of produce, you can’t afford to not go vegan. A box of crackers is like $4 (vegan crackers) and you can get 4 bunches of spinach, kale or swiss chard for that same price, but which has more nutrients? A gallon of dairy milk is like $2 and almond milk is maybe a dollar more, depending on size and brand. In essence, it would be cheaper to buy the nondairy milk than to buy the dairy and end up with high cholesterol and constipation with a side of a doctor’s bill.
Eggs are like $1-$2 a dozen and egg replacements like flax seeds and chia seeds are more steep than that. Again, the chia and flax seeds would come out to be cheaper than the eggs because you won’t have high cholesterol, excess fat, and no chicken’s period.
It is much cheaper to live plant based than not. Many of us take better care of our material possessions than we do our bodies. People spend hundreds of thousands on a car and then go to a drive-thru and spend a dollar on something that is going to make them sick and cause health problems.
That hundred thousand dollar car is not going to do you any good if you are dead.
People think that it is cheaper to go out to eat than to cook at home. If you ate out for a month and then cooked for another month, compare you receipts and see which is cheaper. Not only that, but cooking at home, at least you will know what you are eating and you will have leftovers for a couple of days.
I know that giving up something you are used to is hard, but think about the benefits. Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and honestly believe 1). that it is cheaper to eat out because they think they will save money or 2). because they work so much and don’t have time to cook so eating out is easier.
If you factor in gas and the price of the food, think about how much food you could’ve bought at the grocery store and how many days it would have lasted you. It is all about logic and thinking ahead, but we are too busy trying to stay afloat that our health, ability to reason and logic goes out the door.
We have got to do better, especially my Black people and single parents.
Finance and Health,
Afro Hippie Vegan